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UCF Ready for 1st Round of NCAA Tournament
May 02, 2019
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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – The No. 23 UCF women’s tennis team is set to play the No. 37 Alabama Crimson Tide for the first round of the NCAA tournament in Tallahassee, Fla. on Friday at 2 p.m.

UCF has already faced Alabama once this season as the Knights took a 6-1 victory in the Tide’s territory. Prior to this season, the two teams had only met twice before, with Alabama taking both victories. The Knights picked up the first six points in their first match with the Crimson Tide this season and lost their only point in a third-set super-tiebreaker.

Both teams have a different look to them as these two teams crossed paths earlier in February. Missing from the singles lineup last time was senior Natalia Serrano who has posted a remarkable 15-2 record this spring. Additionally, the doubles tandems on courts two and three for UCF will have a different look to them than the initial meeting. Marie Mattel and Rebeka Stolmar have tallied six consecutive victories on court two while Domenika Turkovic and Serrano have strung together eight straight wins at the No. 3 doubles position.

The Knights will participate in their second straight NCAA tournament and their sixth overall in program history. UCF made it to the tournament in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2018 prior to this season. The Black and Gold had never won a tournament match before their 2018 run where they topped FIU 4-3 in the first round. They were close to winning their second match but were edged by the Miami Hurricanes in the second round 4-3. In fact, the Knights registered their first ever points in the NCAA tournament just last season.

Should UCF advance to the second round of the tournament for the second consecutive season, they would face either No. 11 FSU or South Alabama. If UCF and FSU were to win their matches, it would be a rematch of UCF’s third match of the season. The Knights visited the Seminoles and dropped a 5-2 decision for one of their three losses this season and hope to get a shot at revenge in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

The Knights have won 14 consecutive points in their matches leading up to the NCAA tournament. Since they were tied 2-2 with USF on April 13, UCF has not lost a point. They swept their way through Memphis, Tulsa and USF on their way to the 2019 American Athletic Conference crown.

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