ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 49 UCF men’s tennis team defeated the No. 42 Tulane Green Wave by a score of 4-3 in the first conference match for the Knights. The victory extends the Black and Gold’s winning streak to six matches.
“We knew it would be a tough match,” said Director of Tennis John Roddick, “The final score ends up being 4-3, but we had a lot of opportunities to run that out a little bit. It would have been interestsing if some of those third sets had been played out in full. I’m proud of the team.”
Doubles play was tight throughout, as multiple courts traded games. The first to claim their match was court two as Gabriel Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi bested Luis Erlenbush and Hamish Stewart 6-3. The Knights would earn the doubles point as Mikhail Sokolovskiy and Alan Rubio took down Akos Kotorman and Tim Ruetzel by a score of 6-4. Court one went unfinished as Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel were locked in a close match with Tyler Schick and Ewan Moore that will remain at 6-6 (1-1).
Singles play started with the reigning American Athletic Conference Player of the Week Pavel winning his match on court two. He defeated No. 72 Erlenbusch 6-1, 6-3 for his first win over a ranked opponent.
Court three would go to Tulane, as Stewart topped No. 122 Rubio 6-3, 6-1. The Knights would bounce right back though and pull back into a 3-1 lead on court four. Grassi Mazzuchi triumphed over Dane Esses in straight, identical sets, 6-3, 6-3.
The clincher would come on court five as Hilderbrand secured UCF’s sixth consecutive victory. He defeated Schick 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.
With the match already clinched, the remaining courts would play out. Both courts went to three sets, meaning they would be played as super tiebreakers.
Court six saw Sokolovskiy fall in set one 6-4 but bounce back to win set two 2-6. The ten-point super tiebreaker was close, but Kotorman edged Sokolovskiy 10-8.
A hard-fought battle took place all night long on court one. No. 18 Decamps dropped set one 6-4 and was down in set two 5-1. With his back against the wall, Decamps fought back to tie the set at 5-5. He would eventually win the set 7-6 (8-6). In the super tiebreak, Moore would edge Decamps 10-6.
The Knights are back in action Friday as they face No. 36 Penn State. This is the third consecutive year the two schools have played each other. First serve goes up at 6 p.m.