Compliments of correspondent Joel Leventhal

The South Florida women’s tennis team opened its spring season Friday at the FGCU Invitational in Naples.

In singles play, No. 43 ranked USF was matched against No. 37 Illinois (according to the ITA rankings.)The Illini lived up to its ranking, taking out the Bulls 5-1.

The lone victory for the Bulls, in singles play, came from senior Iciri Rai who defeated No. 12 Chelcie Abajian in straight sets 7-6, (7-5) and 6-4.

Illinois sophomore Leigh Finnegan defeated the Bulls’ Jessica Zok, 6-2 and 6-3.  No. 22 Megan Fudge, who was all-Big Ten, last year, took care of sophomore Jessica Sweeting in straight sets.

South Florida took care of the host team, though.

USF defeated FGCU in three matches.

Zok and Rai beat Florida Gulf Coast juniors Eva Sambrano and Maggie Caulk 9-8 (3).

In the second match, Allyn Mueller teamed up with Lauren Shumate to defeat Eagles duo, Pricillia Villemond and Marissa Grammar 8-3.  In the final match of the day, Guevara and Sweeting completed the three match sweep against FGCU with an easy 8-1 victory against Leah Johnson and Joanne Power.