ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 25 UCF women’s tennis team shutout the No. 8 seeded Memphis Tigers 4-0 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals, which takes place tomorrow at 2 p.m.
“I thought we did well in doubles and set the tone early to get us started,” said head coach Bryan Koniecko, “We did a good job to close, I don’t know if we played our best tennis but I thought we did pretty well. Memphis pushed us in some sets, but we did a good job to stay calm and finish strong.”
Doubles play was controlled by the Knights from the start. UCF took the early advantage on court three as Domenika Turkovic and Natalia Serrano dominated, topping Katherine Cao and Hannah Davies 6-0. It was a toss up to see who finished next and clinch for the Knights. Rebeka Stolmar and Marie Mattel sealed the doubles point on court two by defeating Josephine Cao and Claire Sullivan 6-2. Court one went unfinished as No. 19 Valeriya Zeleva and Ksenia Kuznetsova were leading Laura Bente and Alisha Reayer 5-2, 30-15.
Mattel had a tremendous performance in singles, finishing before all first sets had a chance to finish. She pulled out to a 6-0, 5-0 lead before she dropped a game against Sullivan. Mattel went on to win 6-0, 6-1 to get UCF on the board early.
Stolmar was next to win for the Knights on court three as she downed Aleks Topalovic 6-3, 6-0. Stolmar sits at 21 wins through the 2018-2019 season, matching her total from last season. She sits one singles win behind sixth place on UCF’s single season wins list.
Memphis finished with a goose egg on the scoreboard as Nandini Sharma triumphed over Lina Honhold 6-1, 6-3 to collect win No. 15 in the spring, tying Zeleva for the team lead.
Throughout the tournament, matches will be played as the first to four match points and will not be played out. That left three singles courts unfinished.
Court one was the only match where the Tigers had an advantage. No. 46 Zeleva was edged in the first set 4-6 by Reayer and trailed 2-3 in the second set.
No. 82 Kuznetsova had a fight on her hands with Bente on court two. The two played a tight first set, but it was Kuznetsova who pulled through in a tiebreaker 7-6 (7-3). Kuznetsova led the second set 1-0 when the match was clinched.
Serrano also had a long first set as she fought here way to a 7-5 set one victory before taking a 2-1 lead in the second set.
The match was a quick one, finishing in an hour and fifty-nine minutes. For the second consecutive season, the Knights advance to the American Athletic Conference tournament semifinals.
The Knights will cross paths with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane for the third time this season in the semifinals which are scheduled to take place tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus.
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