Special to GoUSFBulls.com
The USF men's tennis upset Notre Dame in the semi-finals and get a chance to compete against Louisville for their second Big East Championship title.
This will be the Bulls' third trip to the finals since joining the Big East Conference in 2005.
The past two years, USF has lost to Notre Dame in the semi-finals, but with a 4-3 win, this year was a different story.
The fourth-seeded Bulls had a battle until the end against first-seed Notre Dame Saturday afternoon at the USF physical education courts.
After losing the doubles point, the Bulls were forced to play catch-up in singles play.
"We knew all six had to do a good job. We knew that everyone had to play very hard and we had to make sure we stayed in early, and they did that," said head coach Don Barr.
Senior Wael Kilani defeated his opponent in just two sets, 6-1, 6-0. Federico Sabogal also won in two sets, 6-1, 6-1.
With the score tied at 2, the remaining three matches each went into three sets.
Freshman Oliver Pramming battled to win 2-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2).
Tied at 3, Juan Carlos Acuna defeated his opponent 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5 to clinch the match for the Bulls and send them to the finals.
"This win meant a lot to me, and the seniors especially," said Acuna, "It's such a great feeling, I can't describe it. We still have to take care of business; tomorrow we have a tough match."
The Bulls will face second-seed Louisville Sunday at 9 a.m. at the USF Varsity Courts.
"It's going to be another tough, tough battle tomorrow. Louisville is very tough," said Barr, "We're going to have to play good tennis. Now we're back on our home court so hopefully we can do it one more time."
For more information about the tournament, click here.
USF 4, ND 3
Wael Kilani (USF) def. Casey Watt (ND) 6-1, 6-0
Greg Andrews (ND) def. Yannick Yoshizawa (USF) 6-1, 6-1
Federico Sabogal (USF) def. Sam Keeton (ND) 6-2, 6-1
Juan Carlos Acuna Gerard (USF) def. Billy Pecor (ND) 6-7 (3), 7-6 (4), 7-5*
Nial Fitzgerald (ND) def. Ravi Patel (USF) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3
Oliver Pramming (USF) def. Blas Moros (ND) 2-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2)
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 2, 5, 6, 4*
C. Watt/N. Fitzgerald (ND) vs. Y. Yoshizawa/O. Pramming (USF) 8-8 (5-1) DNF
G. Andrews/S. Talmadge (ND) def. W.Kilani/F. Sabogal (USF) 8-5
S. Keeton/B. Pecor (ND) def. L. Marin-Salcedo/G. de Vilchez (USF) 9-8 (7-3)*