ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF men’s tennis team took down the No. 29 Miami Hurricanes on College MatchDay by a score of 4-0. This is the fifth win in a row for the Knights. All five wins during the winning streak have been 4-0 sweeps.
“We started out really well in doubles, that is something we’ve done well this year,” said Director of Tennis John Roddick, “We’ve been focusing a lot in singles and going out and competing every point and not letting us get down on ourselves. Tonight we really fought through some tough spots and tiebreakers. That’s what we need to do, we did that on all six singles spots today. That’s the first time in a long time that we’ve done that.”
On their biggest stage of the season and one of their toughest opponents yet, the Knights performed at their highest level.
Doubles play saw UCF jump out to hot starts on all courts. First to finish was court one, where Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel defeated A. Soriano Barrera and Tatsuki Shimamoto by a 6-4 count. UCF’s top duo now sits at 6-2 on the season. Court two would be the one to clinch the doubles point as Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi edged Dane Dunlap and Stephen Madonia 6-4. Court three went unfinished but came so close to clinching the doubles point. Mikhail Sokolovskiy and Alan Rubio were on match point and up 5-2 over Bojan Jankulovski and W. Grattan-Smith.
Singles play saw first sets split evenly between the Hurricanes and Knights with three a side. It looked like the match would be a close one throughout. Pavel made sure to get his team on the board early, as he defeated Francisco Bastias 6-2, 6-3 at the number two spot in the lineup. Pavel moves to 2-0 in the No. 2 spot on the season with the win.
After dropping the first set 2-6, Hilderbrand fought hard on court five to win set two 6-3 over Franco Aubone. With momentum on his side, Hilderbrand would dominate the third set 6-1 and give the Black and Gold a 3-0 lead.
Courts three and four were both extremely close to clinching the match for UCF. Grassi Mazzuchi would be the one to seal the deal for the Knights on court four as he took down Dunlap 6-4, 1-6, 6-4. He was mobbed by his teammates as UCF clinched their first win over a ranked opponent this season.
No. 120 Rubio was on court three and was close to clinching the match for the Black and Gold. He was up on Jankulovski 7-6 (7-2) 5-2 at the time of the clincher.
The other courts that went unfinished were one and six. No. 22 Decamps was in a duel with No. 24 Soriano Barrera. The match needed a third set, as the score ended 4-6, 7-5, 2-2.
Court six saw Sokolovskiy battle hard with Grattan-Smith. After going down 4-0, Sokolovskiy fought all the way back to tie it at 4-4 in set one. Grattan-Smith would win the first set 7-5, but Sokolovskiy would dominate set two and win it 6-3. They were just about to start their third set when UCF picked up the victory.
The Knights will face their first conference opponent of the season as they battle the Green Wave of Tulane. They are currently ranked No. 39 in the nation. That match takes place Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus.
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