Women's Tennis Opens Fall Schedule at the Rollins C.L. Varner Invitational

Sept. 20, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - With a few weeks of practice in the books, the UCF women's tennis team finally kicks off its fall season this weekend when it makes the quick journey to the Rollins College C.L. Varner Memorial Invitational Friday-Sunday. This will be the third-straight season the Knights have participated in the event.

"This is our first chance to see the girls play in a competition setting. We've trained really hard the past few weeks and I think we have lot of good work behind us," said first-year head coach Stephanie Nickitas. "We've put in a lot of good time on the court, probably more than what the girls are used to. I'm just excited to see if they can translate some of the things we've been working on into the matches. It's really early in the season, so it's a good chance to continue working on things through these matches. Results are important, but they are not the only thing this weekend. I just want to get out there and see how the girls compete and how they handle match situations."

UCF will have four players in the flight A singles draw, including junior Elvira Serrot (Madrid, Spain) and senior Anna Yakimchenkova (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) who are seeded third and fourth, respectively. The tandem will team up in the flight A doubles draw as well and serve as the top seed in that bracket.

Yakimchenkova posted a team-best 18 singles wins a year, while Serrot tied for second with 16 victories. In doubles, they went 16-11 overall and 11-7 at the No. 1 position in dual-match play. The Knights finished the 2006-07 campaign with an 11-8 record.

Along with UCF, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Southern, Palm Beach Atlantic and Rollins College all will be represented at the tournament.

"We are definitely ready to go," said Nickitas. "Whenever you get a chance to compete, especially since there are few times that you do compete in the fall, every opportunity our players have they will get excited. I think we are really looking at this year as a new beginning so to speak, and they are looking forward to getting out there and playing hard.

"We have stepped up the work ethic a couple of notches and practices are a little bit more intense. We are utilizing our time a lot differently this year. Honestly, as a whole, the team has impressed me with how willing they are to get out there, try new things and work at some new ideas we are asking them to do.

"And the team dynamic has been great and better than I could have expected. We do have such an international group and I think they all mesh well together and respect each other a lot. They have a great bond, including the incoming freshmen, and everybody has fit in perfectly."

To access more information on the C.L. Varner Memorial Invitational, check out http://rollinssports.athleticsite.com.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.