Women's Tennis Blanks FGCU in Home Opener, 7-0


Feb. 3, 2008

Final Stats

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The 2008 home schedule got underway for the UCF women's tennis team Sunday morning and the Knights protected their courts by cruising past Florida Gulf Coast, 7-0, at the UCF Tennis Complex. The win marked the first career dual-match victory for first-year head coach Stephanie Nickitas, as UCF improved to 1-1 on the season.

"We had a good week of practice, and slowly the girls are implanting the things we have been working on," said Nickitas. "There was definitely some individual improvements made today, but this was really step two of the process and we have a long way to go. I think we just want to try and get better and better with each match.

"It was great to play at home. I feel like I have been here for awhile now and haven't been able to compete on our home courts. So we were all really excited about that. We want people to feel that it's really difficult to come here and play us. And it was awesome that it was hot outside today. It's a good precursor for playing in Orlando, and this was the type of environment and conditions that we like to play in."

The Knights jumped on FGCU (1-2) in doubles play for the day's opening point. Taking the win at No. 1, senior Kyla McNicol and freshman Jenny Frisell defeated Maria Braniecka and Jordan Vaughn, 8-5. Over at No. 2, senior Jennifer Carati and junior Elvira Serrot got past Maria Maggiorini and Lauren Pfeiffer, 8-2, and the duo of senior Anna Yakimchenkova and junior Kenza Belbacha did not surrender a game in an 8-0 shutout of Brett Kinley and Leah Johnson at No. 3.

UCF carried the momentum into singles where it quickly grabbed four points to secure the overall team win. The No. 3-6 positions combined to give up just nine games, with Belbacha leading the way with a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Johnson at No. 5. Meanwhile, Frisell knocked off Pfeiffer at No. 3, 6-2, 6-1, Yakimchenkova got by Vaughn at No. 4, 6-0, 6-3, and Carati walked off with a 6-2, 6-0 win vs. Kinley at No. 6. The victory for Carati avenged an earlier straight-set loss to Kinley during the FGCU Tournament in January, as the native of Venezuela moved her record to 2-1 this year against the Eagle senior.

McNicol made it 6-0 for UCF thanks to a 6-4, 6-4 performance over Maggiorini at No. 2. McNicol was in danger of dropping the second set by falling behind 3-0, but claimed the next four games and broke serve at 5-4 for the win. To complete the sweep, Serrot needed a third-set super tiebreaker at No. 1 vs. Braniecka to pick up a 6-1, 6-7(3), 1-0(10-6) decision. Serrot held a slim 7-6 advantage in the super breaker before crushing two unreturnable serves and a backhand winner down the line on match point to seal the victory.

The Black and Gold heads back on the road next weekend when it travels to Tallahassee, Fla., to tangle with Florida State Feb. 9 and Florida A&M Feb. 10.

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UCF 7, Florida Gulf Coast 0Doubles1. Kyla McNicol/Jenny Frisell (UCF) def. Maria Braniecka/Jordan Vaughn (FGCU) 8-52. Jennifer Carati/Elvira Serrot (UCF) def. Maria Maggiorini/Lauren Pfeiffer (FGCU) 8-23. Anna Yakimchenkova/Kenza Belbacha (UCF) def. Brett Kinley/Leah Johnson (FGCU) 8-0
Singles1. Elvira Serrot (UCF) def. Maria Braniecka (FGCU) 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 1-0 (10-6)2. Kyla McNicol (UCF) def. Maria Maggiorini (FGCU) 6-4, 6-43. Jenny Frisell (UCF) def. Lauren Pfeiffer (FGCU) 6-2, 6-14. Anna Yakimchenkova (UCF) def. Jordan Vaughn (FGCU) 6-0, 6-35. Kenza Belbacha (UCF) def. Leah Johnson (FGCU) 6-1, 6-06. Jennifer Carati (UCF) def. Brett Kinley (FGCU) 6-2, 6-0
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