TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 20 UCF women’s tennis team dropped their match against the No. 15 FSU Seminoles 5-2 on the road Sunday afternoon.
"We had our chances to take a tight doubles point today which could have helped our momentum," said head coach Bryan Koniecko, "We didn't capitalize in the big moments. As a team it was a great learning lesson that we have to take into Chicago this weekend."
The match began on a high note when Ksenia Kuznetsova and Valeryia Zeleva defeated Emmanuelle Salas and Ana Oparenovic in doubles play on court one by a count of 6-4. Coming into the season, Salas and Oparenovic were ranked No. 40 in the nation in doubles pairs.
Seconds later court three wrapped up with an FSU victory as Rebeka Stolmar and Domenika Turkovic were narrowly defeated by Nandini Das and Ariana Rahmanparast 6-4. It then came down to court two, which was a back and forth battle throughout. Marie Mattel and Natalia Serrano battled hard and saw their match tied at 3-3, 4-4, and 5-5 but were eventually bested by Carla Touly and Petra Hule 7-5 to give FSU the doubles point to start the match
FSU went on to take courts five and three to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Serrano was defeated by Rahmanparast 2-6, 1-6 at the No. 5 spot while Stolmar was defeated 4-6, 1-6 by Salas on court three.
Mattel would register the first point for the Knights on court four over FSU’s Hule. Mattel took set one in convincing fashion 6-1 before winning set two 7-5.
The Seminoles clinched the match over on court six, where Nandini Sharma was defeated by Andrea Garcia 4-6, 4-6. FSU took court two as well, as No. 125 Oparenovic edged Kuznetsova 3-6, 5-7.
Zeleva had her hands full with No. 39 Touly but defeated her in the only match that made it to three sets. Zeleva dropped the first set 3-6 before rallying back to win 6-4 in set two and take the finale 6-2. Zeleva and Mattel picked up their third individual victories on the season.
"For Lera and Marie to do what they did today coming into school in January is very impressive," said Koniecko, "I am proud of their effort today."
The Knights will travel to Evanston, Ill. for ITA Kickoff Weekend. They will face a ranked Northwestern team on Saturday at 10 a.m. Depending on the result of that game, UCF will face either the University of Miami or Tulsa the following day.