UCF Set to Open Season at Tulsa Friday

Jan. 15, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - On Friday, the UCF men's tennis team travels to battle No. 13 Tulsa in its 2009 season opener. This marks the second time this year that the Knights have traveled to Tulsa. The team competed in the D'Novo All-American Championship this past fall.

The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. Eastern at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla.

When the Knights hit the court Friday night, it will be the first time they have competed since the rain-shortened UCF Invitational in November.

Senior Brock Sakey (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) returns for his final season. Sakey finished the fall campaign with a 7-3 mark in singles and collected eight wins in doubles play, six with freshman Joe Delinks (Falmouth, Mass.).

Tarek Ben Soltane (Tunis, Tunisia) also returns for his senior season for the Knights. Ben Soltane enjoyed a successful fall session, completing the term with a 7-2 mark in singles, including a 5-0 start out of the gates.

Defending Conference USA champion Tulsa comes into the spring with two players ranked in the top 100. Arnau Brugues is currently ranked 10th in the nation in singles. The senior finished last season with a 22-9 singles mark, and advanced to the round of 16 in singles at the NCAA Tournament. Philip Stephens is currently ranked 91st in singles. The junior transfer from Fairleigh Dickinson completed last year with a 29-7 singles record, and was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Year for the second straight season.

The Golden Hurricane concluded last season with their third C-USA championship in as many years, and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

UCF finished last season with an overall record of 12-9, giving the Knights 12 wins in back-to-back seasons. The team returns six letterwinners, including sophomore Claudio Romano (Valencia, Venezuela), who enters the spring ranked No. 82nd in singles.

After meeting with Tulsa, the Knights begin a three-match homestand on the 24th when in-state foe Florida Gulf Coast comes to town.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.