No. 44 USF Women's Tennis Defeats UCF

Feb. 1, 2006

ORLANDO - No. 44 USF dropped host and in-state rival UCF, 5-2, in women's tennis action at the UCF Tennis Complex on Wednesday afternoon.

USF (2-0) opened with an 8-1 victory as the No. 5 ranked duo of juniors Gabriela Duch and Neyessa Etienne defeated UCF's Pamela Fernandez and Kyla McNicol. The Bulls earned the doubles point after taking the No. 3 doubles, 8-4.

After an injury forced USF's Luisa Obando to retire the match at No. 6 singles, the Golden Knights (1-2) were able to even the score at one. The No. 96-ranked player in the nation, Liz Cruz dropped UCF sophomore Jennifer Carati, 6-1, 6-0, to regain the lead for the Bulls and they also earned a victory at the No. 2 position. Duch's 6-4, 6-2 win over freshman Kenza Belbacha gave the visitors the deciding point.

Meanwhile, Etienne beat Fernandez at No. 1 singles by identical set scores of 6-3, 6-3 before UCF junior Megan Hunter fought back from a first set loss to take a 1-6,6-3 (10-6) victory over Iciri Rai at No. 5.

"USF is a great team and I think we gave them a fight," said UCF head coach Patricia Allison. "There is still room for improvement, but our players really put up a good effort."

Next up, the Golden Knights host North Florida on Feb. 7 at the UCF Tennis Complex. First serve is at 2 p.m.

1. Neyssa Etienne (USF) def. Pamela Fernandez (UCF), 6-3, 6-3
2. Courtney Vernon (USF) def. Anna Yakimchenkova (UCF), 6-4, 6-1
3. No. 96 Liz Cruz (USF) def. Jennifer Carati (UCF), 6-1, 6-0
4. Gabriela Duch (USF) def. Kenza Belbacha (UCF), 6-4, 6-2
5. Megan Hunter (UCF) def. Iciri Rai (USF), 1-6, 6-3 (10-6)
6. Kyla McNicol (UCF) def. Luisa Obando (USF), 4-1 (ret.)

1. No. 5 Duch/Etienne (USF) def. Fernandez/McNicol (UCF), 8-1
2. Cruz/Rai (USF) def. Hunter/Yakimchenkova (UCF), 8-3
3. Vernon/Obando (USF) def. Carati/Becky Gordon (UCF), 8-4

Order of finish - Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,3,2,4,1,5).