(W) Tennis

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Knights Climb One Spot to #23 in Rankings
April 09, 2019
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The UCF women’s tennis team climbed the Oracle/ITA rankings by a single spot on Tuesday as they elevate to No. 23.

The Knights have only played one match since the last release of the Oracle/ITA team, singles and doubles rankings a week ago. That one match was a 5-2 loss against a tough Oklahoma State team ranked No. 12 in the country at the time.

Valeriya Zeleva and Ksenia Kuznetsova remain in the singles and doubles rankings, as they have pretty much all season. Zeleva has been ranked since the first release of the rankings in season while Kuznetsova first checked into the singles rankings on March 5. The two together have been ranked since the initial in-season doubles ranking release.

Prior to the match on Friday, Zeleva sat at No. 44 in the rankings and is now ranked No. 48. Zeleva was edged by a top-40 opponent in No. 38 Katarina Stresnakova by a score of 4-6, 7-6 (12-10), 6-2. Zeleva is 15-5 on the season at the No. 1 singles position. All five of those loses came to ranked opponents, as she is 7-5 against top-125 opposition.

Kuznetsova dips slightly as well, going from No. 86 to No. 89 in the rankings. Kuznetsova lost her fifth match of the season as she fell to Lisa Marie Roiux in straight sets. Kuznetsova has been a rock for the Knights at the No. 2 position all season though as she sits with a record of 12-5 and a 7-2 mark in her last ten matches.

Kuznetsova is chasing history, looking to become one of the winningest singles players in a single season for UCF. At the moment, Kuznetsova sits with 22 victories combined from the fall and spring, good enough to be tied for sixth-place with five other players. The record for most singles victory in a season belongs to Hadas Ronen who picked up 28 singles victories over the course of the 1996-1997 season.

Together, Zeleva and Kuznetsova jump one spot to No. 19 in the Oracle/ITA doubles rankings. The pair did not finish their last match against Oklahoma State’s No. 21 duo, but continue to prove that they are among the elite doubles tandems in the nation. Zeleva and Kuznetsova have an 11-3 record at the top doubles position this season and are 2-2 against ranked opposition.

The Knights will host the No. 45 USF Bulls for the season finale for both teams on April 13 at 3 p.m. Saturday will also be Natalia Serrano’s Senior Knight as she plays her final regular season match for the Black and Gold. She looks to move into a tie at third place on the all-time singles wins list in program history

Heading into the weekend, UCF leads the War On I-4 series by a count of 43-8. The Knights have already clinched the series and have won the War On I-4 for the third consecutive season, which is how long the series has officially been around.

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