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Serrano Shines in War On I-4 & Senior Knight
April 13, 2019
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 23 UCF women’s tennis team picked up their nineteenth win of 2019 in the regular season finale as they defeated the No. 45 USF Bulls by a score of 4-2 on Natalia Serrano’s Senior Knight.

“It was great to get a win for Nat,” said head coach Bryan Koniecko, “What a way to end the regular season for her. High energy performance from her in doubles, high energy in singles, which is just what she brings to this team every day. Any time you play your rival, you’ve got to throw rankings and results out the window because everyone wants to win a rivalry match.”

The day began with UCF storming out to a lead on all doubles courts. The star of the afternoon was paired up with Domenika Turkovic. Together, Serrano and Turkovic came out and defeated Janvhi Clark and Laura Pellicer Perello 6-1 on court three. Court two followed suit as Marie Mattel and Rebeka Stolmar topped Ana Roman Dominguez and Amelie Boy 6-2 to win the doubles point. Court one went unfinished, as No. 19 Valeriya Zeleva and Ksenia Kuznetsova were trailing No. 88 Vanja Klaric and Nicole Dzenga 4-5.

It was only fitting that Serrano was the first to finish and win her match in singles play. On court four, Serrano topped Boy 6-4, 6-2. The win puts Nat at a 14-2 singles record on the season and gives her 74 singles victories in her career at UCF. She is now tied with Daniela Okal and Ann-Jeanette Svantesson for third place all-time for career singles victories.

The Bulls fought back from down 2-0 to tie the match at 2-2. Court six went the way of USF as Alexandria Mjos beat Turkovic 6-4, 6-3. Just moments later, court three fell to the Bulls as Mattel was edged by Pellicer Perello 7-5, 6-4.

UCF went right back on top as Nandini Sharma picked up a victory on court five, besting Dzenga 6-1, 6-4. The win was Sharma’s fourteenth this season as she now has a record of 14-3. She also stayed perfect at the No. 5 position where she is 7-0.

The clincher for the Knights would come on court one where No. 89 Kuznetsova got her first start of the spring season at the top spot in singles. She would defeat No. 56 Roman Dominguez 6-3, 6-2 to seal the War On I-4 for the Knights. In the fall, Kuznetsova matched up with Roman Dominguez and lost to the USF top starter. Kuznetsova got her revenge as she picked up her thirteenth win of the spring season and twenty-third when you add in her fall victories. With those twenty-three wins, Kuznetsova is tied for fifth place in single-season wins at UCF.

Court two was the only match to go unfinished. Stolmar and Klaric were locked in a third set battle when the match was clinched. Stolmar took the first set with ease, but the score will stand incomplete at 6-0, 3-6, 3-3.

This season, the Knights went 15-0 on home court, protecting it with everything they had. Additionally, UCF finished the season with a perfect conference record of 6-0.

The Knights have already clinched the War On I-4 trophy as an entire athletics department, but its always nice to add a few insurance points. UCF holds a 49-12 lead and has bested the Bulls on just about every playing surface in the 2018-2019 season.

The Knights await their seeding for the American Athletic Conference Championship tournament. If the Knights are a four seed or higher, they will receive a first-round bye and play on April 18. The conference tournament will be held at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus from April 17-April 20.

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