Men's Tennis Can't Get Past Second-Seed Rice in C-USA Semifinals

April 24, 2010

By Doug Richards

HOUSTON (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's tennis team saw its successful 2010 campaign come to a close Saturday evening as the third-seeded Knights fell 4-1 to No. 2 Rice in semifinal play at the Conference USA Championship at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium. The Owls, who are ranked 41st in the country and are serving as the tournament hosts, took the doubles point and then won three singles matches to hold off UCF (12-8).

Rice improved to 13-10 with the win and snapped the Knights' three-match winning streak. The Knights are ranked 70th in the nation, and their No. 3 seed at the league championship was the best for the program since UCF joined C-USA in 2005.

After taking the doubles point, Rice won at No. 1, No. 4 and No. 6 singles. The squad clinched the victory at No. 6 when Christian Saravia topped freshman Nino Hasandedic (Munich, Germany), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4. UCF's victory came at No. 3 where junior Blaze Schwartz (Pensacola, Fla.) rallied to beat Sam Garforth-Bles (2-6, 6-4, 6-3).

The Owls advance to Sunday's championship match, where they will meet top-seed Tulsa.

At the top spot, Rice's Bruno Rosa, the 29th-ranked player in the country, defeated senior Marc Rocafort (Barcelona, Spain), 6-2, 6-1. Facing sophomore Claudio Romano (Valencia, Venezuela) at No. 4, Oscar Podlewski was a 7-5, 6-3 winner.

UCF did pick up a win at No. 3 doubles. Romano joined senior Brock Sakey (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) for an 8-3 triumph over Garforth-Bles and Dennis Polyakov.

The Owls served as the eighth nationally-ranked team that UCF faced this spring.

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.

Rice 4, UCF 1

Singles Competition
1. Bruno Rosa (Rice) def. Marc Rocafort (UCF) 6-2, 6-1
2. Michael Nusslein (Rice) vs. Brock Sakey (UCF) DNF
3. Blaze Schwartz (UCF) def. Sam Garforth-Bles (Rice) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3
4. Oscar Podlewski (Rice) def. Claudio Romano (UCF) 7-5, 6-3
5. Isumu Tachibana (Rice) vs. Johan Beigart (UCF) DNF
6. Christian Savaria (Rice) def. Nino Hasandedic (UCF) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4

Doubles Competition
1. Nusslein/Savaria (Rice) def. Rocafort/Schwartz (UCF) 8-6
2. Rosa/Tachibana (Rice) def. Beigart/Delinks (UCF) 8-6
3. Romano/Sakey (UCF) def. Polyakov/Garforth-Bles (Rice) 8-3