ATHENS, Ga. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF men’s tennis team opened its fall slate last weekend at the 51st Annual Southern Intercollegiate Championships at the University of Georgia. Sophomore Gabriel DeCamps was the first Knight to pick up hardware this fall with a singles title.
“The guys had a great weekend together,” Director of Tennis John Roddick said. “We wanted to start the season with some matches, because we’re such a young team. We had some good wins this weekend, as Soko made it to the semifinals. We couldn’t be happier for Gabe winning the tournament. It speaks a lot to his development. The freshmen played well. They did the things that we’ve worked on a lot at practice. We did a lot of good things this weekend. This is a good stepping stone for the rest of the fall.”
DeCamps, the No. 8 singles seed, breezed all the way through to the finals. He opened the weekend with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Jason Kros from Virginia Tech in the first round. The Brazilian international took down David Gonzalez from ETSU 6-1, 6-3 in the second round and punched his ticket to the quarterfinals after beating Kiranpal Pannu from CSU 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the round of 16.
DeCamps reached the finals with wins against No. 1-seeded Jan Zielinski from UGA 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals, and Alex Reco from Arkansas 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals.
The sophomore squared off against the No. 11 seed Robert Loeb from UGA with the title on the line. DeCamps took the final match 6-3, 6-4.
In his first tournament with UCF, Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi, the No. 2 seed, won his first round match over Ozan Cildir from Lander 6-4, 6-2, but fell to Virginia Tech’s Carlo Donato 4-6, 4-6 in the second round. He dropped his matchup with Adam Sanjurjo from Arkansas in the consolation draw 6-7, 2-6.
Entering the tournament as the No. 10 seed, Alan Rubio beat Pablo Caffarena from Lipscomb 7-5, 7-6(3) in the first round. He toppled Jose Alonso from Arkansas 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the second round, before losing in the round of 16 to No. 1-seeded Jan Zielinkski from UGA 3-6, 4-6.
Freshman Manoel Alencar fell short to Arkansas’ Alex Reco in a three-set battle of 5-7, 6-4, 0-6 in the first round. In the consolation draw, he defeated Mehdi Laalej from FAU 6-3, 6-4.
Mikhail Sokolovskiy punched his way through to the semi-finals. Sokolovskiy took down Pedro Alonso from Arkansas 7-6, 6-2 in the first round. The Russian international marched onto the quarterfinals with victories over Oliver Stuart from Mercer (6-2, 6-1) and Henry Patten from UNC Ashville (6-3, 6-4) in the round of 16. Sokolovskiy topped Carlo Donato from Virginia Tech (6-2, 6-2) to reach the semifinals, but Georgia’s Robert Loeb 6-2, 6-3 bested him in the semifinals.
The doubles No. 2 tandem of DeCamps and Mazzuchi defeated FAU’s Thomas Guy and Mehdi Laalej 8-5 in the second round, after receiving a first-round bye. The duo fell to Kiranpal Pannu and Matei Avram from Columbus State in a close match at 7-8 in the round of 16.
After receiving a first-round bye, the doubles combination of Sokolovskiy and Rubio lost to Lander’s Ozan Cildir and Eirik Groner at 4-8 in the second round.
The Knights will be back in action on Oct. 28 at the Bedford Cup held at the USTA National Campus.