ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF men’s tennis team dropped their 2019 home opener against the No. 4 Florida Gators by a score of 6-1.
The match began with the Gators locking up court three where Alan Rubio and Mikhail Sokolovskiy were defeated by Oliver Crawford and Sam Riffice 6-1. Florida would seal the doubles point with a 6-1 victory on court one, where Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel were bested by McClain Kessler and Duarte Vale. When doubles was clinched, Gabriel Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi were leading Johannes Ingildsen and Alfredo Perez 4-3 on court two. Their match went unfinished.
The Gators jumped out in front early in singles play. No. 85 Riffice beat No. 79 Rubio 6-0, 6-0 on court three. Court two was locked up by Florida soon after as No. 37 Andres Andrade bested No. 57 Grassi Mazzuchi 6-1, 6-2.
The score stood at 3-0 for quite some time. After the Knights collectively dropped the first set, the remaining courts held a lead or a tie at some point in set two. The momentum had slightly shifted in favor of UCF. A few members of the Black and Gold forced a third set as the remaining four courts were tight throughout.
Before those third sets could be decided, Florida clinched the match on court four where No. 107 Hilderbrand was narrowly edged by No. 46 Ingildsen 6-4, 7-5. The next court to finish also went the way of the Gators, as court five saw No. 100 Vale sneak a 7-5, 7-5 victory in over Pavel.
Court six and one needed three sets to decide their matches. At the sixth spot, No. 88 Sokolovskiy fell to Lukas Greif 6-3, 2-6, 6-1.
On court one, No. 31 Decamps was battling hard against No. 9 Crawford who got an early edge in the match going up 6-2 after the first set. In set two, Decamps took a 3-2 lead and never looked back on his way to a 6-3 victory. Decamps overpowered Crawford in the third set and won it 6-3, giving the Knights their lone point on the evening.
The Knights go back on the road on Feb. 8 to visit Indiana at 6 p.m. The Knights will make one more stop on the road trip and pay a visit to a ranked Michigan team on Feb. 10.
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