Men's Tennis Ready to Start Spring Season

Jan. 19, 2011

="" alt="Knight Head" border="0" class="imported"> Read John Denton's Knights Insider | ="" alt="Twitter Logo" border="0" class="imported">Follow us on Twitter | ="" alt="Facebook Logo" border="0" class="imported">Get social with the Knights on Facebook

By Sean Simon

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After a strong fall season, the UCF men's tennis team is ready to showcase its young talent this spring. With only one senior, the team expects to absorb experience that will lead them towards a bright future. Every player had at least three singles victories, and doubles combinations were perfected during a successful fall season that added a few more trophies to the shelf.

The UCF Invitational tournament was dominated by the Knights who won both doubles brackets and saw freshman Matthew Gladstone (Surfside, Fla.) win his singles bracket. Gladstone and sophomore Mario Samson (Miami, Fla.) secured their doubles bracket title along with dynamic duo junior Joe Delinks (Falmouth, Mass.) and senior Blaze Schwartz (Pensacola, Fla.).

Gladstone truly hit the ground running in his inaugural college season by securing both the singles and doubles crown with freshman Leonel Vivas (Caracas, Venezuela) at the C.L. Varner Memorial Invitational. He won a total of eight singles matches with one loss and was named Conference USA's Player of the Month in October.

Freshman Erik Brunskog (Linkoping, Sweden) also had a successful first semester with strong play at home after winning three singles matches at the UCF Invitational. Junior Claudio Romano (Valencia, Venezuela) had arguably the most impressive win of his career when he ousted nationally ranked Wael Kilani of USF at the Gator Invitational in September.

Schwartz will enter his final season 11th on UCF's all-time career victories list with 57 wins. He needs only one more win to break into the top 10. Brock Sakey (2005-10) sits atop the list with 85 career victories.

The Knights have scheduled some tough competition this spring and will face two teams in the top 25 in No. 9 Florida and No. 15 Texas A&M. The Knights play host to 12 matches this season at the UCF Tennis Complex and look to compete at the C-USA championship in Tulsa, Okla., in April. Admission is free to all home matches.

The Knights open the spring season at home against Georgia State on Jan. 23 at 12 p.m. The last time the Knights faced the Panthers was in 2009 in Atlanta, resulting in a 5-2 Black and Gold victory.