Men's Tennis Prepares for Conference USA Foe No. 32 Rice

Jan. 25, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - On Saturday, the UCF men's tennis team opens its dual-match campaign with a match against No. 32 Rice at the UCF Tennis Complex at 11 a.m. The match between the two Conference USA schools is a first in program history.

From Jan. 18-21, the Knights competed at the USF Spring Classic, which featured host South Florida and national powerhouses No. 35 Virginia Tech and No. 28 Auburn.

Junior Tarek Ben Soltane (Tunis, Tunisia) finished the tournament with a 3-0 record in singles. Ben Soltane eased to victory against Virginia Tech's Eduardo Pinto, 6-2, 6-0 and then knocked off Auburn's Nick Maurillo, 6-4, 6-1.

Two other Knights, junior Danny Colon (Jacksonville, Fla./Englewood) and freshman Blaze Schwartz (Pensacola, Fla./Washington), also concluded the event with winning records. Colon's two wins, both in straight sets, came against Auburn opponents.

Senior Sinan Sudas (Adana, Turkey) and Schwartz, a duo that clicked in the fall, registered a 2-1 record in doubles in Tampa. After falling to USF, the two recorded back-to-back wins against Virginia Tech and Auburn.

Rice has two players on its roster ranking in the top 50 in singles. Christoph Müller is currently ranked 34th in the nation in singles. The junior finished last season with a 27-10 overall mark, including a 16-4 record in dual play. Ralph Knupfer, a senior, posted a 17-11 overall mark in 2007. He was 6-5 against nationally ranked opponents and 2-0 against regionally-ranked competition.

The Owls concluded the 2007 spring season with a loss to Tulsa in the C-USA Championship, but still earned a bid to the NCAA Championship.

UCF finished last spring with a 12-12 record, which included a 9-3 record home. The Knights defeated three ranked opponents at the UCF Tennis Complex. The team returns five letterwinners and welcomes four new faces to its roster.

Admission to all UCF home matches is free.

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