Men's Tennis Nearly Knocks Off No. 31 Tulsa

April 3, 2010

By Doug Richards

TULSA, Okla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's tennis team played one of its most complete matches of the season Saturday, but No. 31 Tulsa held on for a 4-3 victory over the Knights at the Case Tennis Center. The 63rd-ranked Knights took the doubles point, but the Golden Hurricane (14-6) recovered to claim four of six singles victories to escape with the win.

Seniors Marc Rocafort (Barcelona, Spain) and Brock Sakey (Gulf Breeze, Fla.) picked up big singles wins for UCF (9-7). At No. 1, Rocafort defeated Marcelo Arevalo, the 55th-ranked player in the country, 6-3, 7-6 (4). Facing No. 50 Ashley Watling at No. 2, Sakey held on for a 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 triumph.

The hosts clinched the win at the No. 4 spot when Alastair Barnes rallied to top sophomore Claudio Romano (Valencia, Venezuela), 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

"The coaching staff is very proud of the way we battled today. It was the most complete match we have played all year," UCF head coach Bobby Cashman said. "We were one point short today, but we are looking forward to continuing to work hard the next two weeks and prepare for the conference tournament."

The contest against Tulsa served as UCF's only regular-season match against a Conference USA program this season.

UCF began the match with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to take a 1-0 edge. Against Marko Ballok and Barnes at No. 2, senior Johan Beigart (Vaxjo, Sweden) and sophomore Joe Delinks (Falmouth, Mass.) rolled to an 8-3 win. Romano and Sakey clinched the doubles point at No. 3 with an 8-4 win over Arevalo and Grant Ive.

The match was the second of two against nationally-ranked teams this week in Oklahoma for UCF. The squad played at No. 49 Oklahoma State on Thursday.

The Knights will now return to Florida, and prepare to face cross-state rival USF in Tampa on April 10.

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#31 Tulsa 4, #63 UCF 3

Doubles (Order: 1, 2, 3)
1. #30 Stephens/Watling (TLS) def. Rocafort/Schwartz (UCF), 8-4
2. Beigart/Delinks (UCF) def. Ballok/Barnes (TLS), 8-3
3. Romano/Sakey (UCF) def. Arevalo/Ive (TLS), 8-4

Singles (Order: 3, 1, 6, 5, 4, 2)
1. Marc Rocafort (UCF) def. #55 Marcelo Arevalo (TLS), 6-3, 7-6 (4)
2. Brock Sakey (UCF) def. #50 Ashley Watling (TLS), 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
3. Philip Stephens (TLS) def. Blaze Schwartz (UCF), 6-2, 6-2
4. Alastair Barnes (TLS) def. Claudio Romano (UCF), 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2
5. Grant Ive (TLS) def. Nino Hasandedic (UCF), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
6. Marko Ballok (TLS) def. Eugene Dolgovykh (UCF), 7-5, 6-2