ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 24 UCF women’s tennis team will have participants in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships this season which takes place at the UCF Collegiate Tennis Center at the USTA National Campus from May 20-25.
Redshirt Sophomore Valeriya Zeleva will be taking part in both the singles and doubles championships. Zeleva earned her way into the NCAA Singles Championships by being the highest ranked player int he American Athletic Conference. Ksenia Kuznetsova joins Zeleva for the NCAA Doubles Championships, which the tandem will be a part of thanks to their at-large selection.
Zeleva is currently ranked No. 43 in the nation in singles play and boasts a record of 17-5 at the top spot in the lineup. She has gone 9-5 against ranked opponents this season and has won two consecutive matches heading into the NCAA team tournament.
Kuznetsova will be part of her second consecutive berth into the NCAA Doubles Championships. Last season, she was teamed up with Maria Martinez as the pair automatically qualified for the tournament by being the highest ranked duo in the conference. The duo went 17-3 during the regular season and were ranked No. 61 at the time of the tournament. They had climbed as high as No. 47 during the season.
As for this season, Zeleva and Kuznetsova are currently ranked No. 24 in the nation in the Oracle/ITA doubles rankings. The duo broke into the rankings early in the year at No. 16 and continued to hang around that mark for a while. The tandem has posted a 12-4 mark to this point in the season and are 2-3 against nationally ranked opponents.
UCF’s top duo made it to the tournament via an at-large selection. They were second in the American Athletic Conference behind Tulsa’s top pair who currently sits at No. 11 in the doubles rankings. The two tandems have met three times this season, each winning one while the third meeting went unfinished. It will be interesting to see if the two meet again in the tournament.
The Knights will face the No. 35 Alabama Crimson Tide in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Tallahassee, Fla.
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