ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 23 UCF women's tennis team took down the Baylor Bears by a score of 6-1 on Sunday afternoon at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus.
“We did well in the doubles point, I thought we took care of business by taking care of the serves,” said head coach Bryan Koniecko, "That put us in a good position for singles, but Baylor pushed us big time in a lot of first sets. I thought we played the big moments well today.”
Doubles play began with some big leads for the Knights. Ksenia Kuznetsova and Valeriya Zeleva jumped out to a 3-0 lead and kept their foot on the accelerator. They would defeat Livia Kraus and Dominika Sujova 6-1 on court one. Rebeka Stolmar and Marie Mattel won in a similar fashion, taking down Kris Sorokolet and Angie Shakhraichuk 6-2 at the No. 3 spot. Court two went unfinished, as Natalia Serrano and Domenika Turkovic were tied with Paula Baranano and Jessica Hinojosa at 4-4. The duo for the Knights nearly took a 5-4 lead when the doubles point was clinched as they led 40-15 in the ninth game.
The Knights put up an early singles point as Mattel defeated Shakhraichuck 6-4 in the first set. In the second set, Shakhraichuck was ahead 2-1 but lost by retirement.
The only hiccup for the Black and Gold came on court six, where Turkovic was edged by Baranano 6-4, 6-3.
Moments after Baylor pulled within a point, UCF added another one to the scoreboard. Zeleva took down No. 59 Kraus 6-3, 6-4 on court one to put the Knights one away from the clincher.
The remaining courts were all close battles. After dropping the first set in a tiebreaker, Serrano fought back to beat Sujova on court five 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-0 to clinch the match for the Knights.
Next to finish was Kuznetsova on court two as she downed Hinojosa in a hard fought second set tiebreaker 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).
The final court to wrap up was court three. Here, No. 114 Sorokolet jumped out to a 6-3 victory in set one and a set two lead of 3-0 over Stolmar. In a tight second set, Stolmar would battle back to win a long tiebreaker 7-6 (13-11). The third set was played as a 10 point tiebreaker, and with all the momentum Stolmar won with ease 10-4.
Mattel and Zeleva bump their records to a perfect 6-0 in singles play while the dynamic duo of Kuznetsova and Zeleva jump to a 6-0 start to their season as a doubles pair.
The Knights will hit the road once again as they pay a visit to the Crimson Tide of Alabama on Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. UCF will finish off that trip on Feb. 17 against Ole Miss in a Sunday matinee at 11 a.m.
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