ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 49 UCF men’s tennis team will face two more ranked opponents during the week. The Knights are back in action Tuesday against No. 4 Virginia and No. 32 Texas Tech on Thursday.
If both opponents remain in the new Oracle/ITA rankings release on Tuesday, UCF will have faced six consecutive ranked teams.
UCF has performed well over the past three matches, picking up two wins over ranked opponents as well as putting up a fight against the defending National Champions No. 2 Wake Forest. The Knights beat the No. 42 Tulane Green Wave and the No. 36 Penn State Nittany Lions by a score of 4-3. The Black and Gold gave Wake Forest a run for their money as UCF took the doubles point and forced the decision of the match to a final court before falling 4-3. The loss to Wake Forest snapped UCF’s seven-match winning streak.
Trey Hilderbrand has found his stride for the Knights recently, winning his last five matches and going 4-0 at the No. 5 position in the lineup. Bogdan Pavel is also heating up for the Black and Gold, going 7-2 over his last 10 matches. Together, Hilderbrand and Pavel have gone 7-3 at the top spot in doubles and defeated their first ranked opponent (No. 35) of the season against Wake Forest.
The Knights will have to face another tough test on Tuesday at 1 p.m. as the No. 4 Virginia Cavaliers pay a visit to the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus. Virginia sits with a 10-2 record on the season, losing to No. 1 Ohio State and No. 13 Notre Dame. They defeated Wake Forest 5-2 earlier in the year as part of a four-match winning streak. The Cavaliers boast four ranked singles with their highest ranked individual being No. 15 Carl Söderlund. The other ranked players check in at Nos. 50, 92 and 96. Virginia’s Brandon Nakashima and Henrik Wiersholm are ranked No. 71 as a doubles pair.
No. 32 Texas Tech comes in with a record of 10-6 so far in 2019. They’ve won three of their last four matches, dropping a match against Indiana, a team the Knights have defeated this season. Texas Tech’s lone ranked player sits at No. 108 as Parker Wynn will likely match up with UCF’s No. 18 Gabriel Decamps. Wynn is a part of the No. 6 doubles tandem in the nation as he and Bjorn Thomson have been making their way up the rankings all season long. Both UCF and Texas Tech will have new team rankings by the time the two teams meet.
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