ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 26 UCF women’s tennis team is set for another busy weekend of tennis as they will face Tulsa on Friday at 5 p.m. and No. 34 Illinois on Sunday at noon.
UCF is on a 13-match winning streak with a chance to make it 15 in a row. After falling in the first leg of ITA Kickoff Weekend, the Knights have piled up the wins, looking to have one of their best seasons yet. After Sunday's match, UCF will be back on the road before returning for the War on I-4 on April 13. Four Knights have won eight or more consecutive singles matches. Nandini Sharma has won 11-straight matches with Natalia Serrano trailing her with 10 in a row. Rebeka Stolmar has won 9-straight singles matches while Ksenia Kuznetsova is a victor of eight in a row.
Friday’s clash with Tulsa will be a rematch from earlier in the season. At the tail end of ITA Kickoff Weekend, both teams were ranked inside the top-25. UCF was No. 22 at the time and defeated No. 23 Tulsa 4-1 for the first win over a ranked opponent on the season. Since ITA Kickoff Weekend, Tulsa has gone 6-4 and dropped out of the Oracle/ITA rankings. After losing their match with No. 12 Kansas, Tulsa has won four of their last six. The Golden Hurricane has not defeated a ranked team yet, going 0-6 to this point.
The top doubles spot on Friday’s match could get interesting. Valeriya Zeleva and Kuznetsova defeated Tulsa’s Martina Okalova and Vera Ploner during ITA Kickoff Weekend. Okalova and Ploner were ranked No. 4 in the nation at the time. While both tandems have dropped in ranking since that time, it will be something to watch for as Zeleva and Kuznetsova could pick up two wins over one of the nation’s best doubles pairs.
Sunday will see UCF face their seventh ranked opponent of the season. The Knights are 4-2 against ranked opposition and will deal with No. 34 Illinois on Sunday. Illinois comes in with a losing record on the season as they sit at 6-8. They have played five ranked teams and lost to them all. They have played quality opponents along the way, their latest loss coming at the hands of No. 18 Texas. The Fighting Illini are 1-4 on the road but will look to play spoiler at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus.
If the Knights can win these two matches, head coach Bryan Koniecko will collect win No. 50 of his career. If that scenario plays itself out, Koniecko will have a .781 winning percentage to this point.
GET THE APP
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news.