ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 28 UCF women’s team picked up their twelfth consecutive victory on Wednesday afternoon as they defeated the No. 46 SMU Mustangs by a score of (SCORE). This season’s winning streak now stands alone as the third-longest in program history.
"I thought today was one of our better matches that we have played in a while," said head coach Bryan Koniecko, "I thought energy wise the level we got today was probably the best we've had all season starting with doubles. We've been preaching it for these past few weeks and I think today we finally caught a glimpse of what this team could."
Doubles play went smoothly for the Knights. UCF jumped out to a quick 6-1 win on court three where Marie Mattel and Nandini Sharma defeated Sarai Monarrez Yesaki and Anzhelika Shapovalova. Mattel and Sharma are now 4-0 as a duo with three of those wins coming at the No. 3 position. The Black and Gold’s dynamic duo was next to finish as Valeriya Zeleva and Ksenia Kuznetsova topped Liza Buss and Vivienne Kulicke 6-1. Court two’s match remained unfinished as Rebeka Stolmar and Natalia Serrano were leading 4-3 over Karina Traxler and Tiffany Hollebeck.
Singles play saw an even split of first sets. UCF won three sets, all by a count of 6-4. SMU won their three first sets by a score of 7-5.
UCF jumped on the board first as No. 27 Zeleva defeated Shapovalova 6-4, 6-2. The win gives Zeleva a record of 13-3 on the year as the No. 1 singles player for the Knights.
Finishing just after Zeleva was Stolmar. She defeated Kulicke in straight sets as well, winning 6-4, 6-3 at the No. 3 position. Stolmar has won eight straight matches and moves to a record of 8-1 at the third spot in the lineup.
No. 70 Kuznetsova finished moments later as she topped No. 114 Buss 6-4, 6-2 to clinch the match. Kuznetsova took down her second ranked opponent of the season and has won eight straight matches.
The match would continue as the Mustangs found their only point of the day on court four where Mattel fell to Nicole Petchey 7-5, 6-2.
With the remaining courts needing three sets, both would be played as 10-point tiebreakers. Sharma battled hard against Katherine Jakeway, who took the first set 7-5. Sharma bounced back in set two winning it 6-3 before winning the super tiebreaker 10-7 on court six. That is 11 straight wins for Sharma is she is tied for the team’s spring season lead with 13.
Serrano would finish things off with a win on court six by a count of 5-7, 6-4, 10-6. UCF’s lone senior has won nine straight matches and stands with a record of 10-1.
The Knights will face another conference opponent as Wichita State pays a visit to the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus. The match takes place Sunday at noon.
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