UCF Men's Tennis Season Recap

May 3, 2011

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By Josh Molino
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Another tough, competitive schedule showed the 2011 UCF men's tennis team the dedication and hard work required to become one of the nation's premier programs. The young team had quality victories, hard-fought losses and gained invaluable experience heading into the future.

Nation's Elite
In order to be the best, you must beat the best. UCF had no shortage of quality opponents during the 2011 spring season, having played 10 nationally-ranked teams. The Knights battled hard in each match, coming away with victories against No. 52 DePaul, No. 60 Texas A&M-CC and No. 70 Troy. The Black and Gold also fared well against in-state rivals, defeating Jacksonville, Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast and Bethune-Cookman.

Play Hard, Study Harder
Seven Knights achieved academic success during the 2010-11 season, having a 3.0 or above GPA and earning Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll recognition. Senior Blaze Schwartz is a four-time recipient, junior Claudio Romano earned his third honor and sophomore Mario Samson gained recognition for the second-consecutive year. Junior Eugene Dolgovykh and freshmen Erik Brunskog, Leonel Vivas and Matthew Zachary were all first-time selections.

Double Trouble
Senior Blaze Schwartz and junior Joe Delinks played as a tough tandem against many teams this season, pairing together for 20 victories. Schwartz and Delinks had a solid record of 12-8 at the No. 1 doubles position, including a stunning victory over Sunshine State rival Stetson's No. 40 ranked team of Njal Stene and Maksim Levanovich.

No Average Joe
Along with Joe Delinks' excellent doubles play, the junior from Falmouth, Mass., performed above expectations in his singles matches, finishing the season with 11 victories to lead the Knights. The No. 4 position seemed to be right where Delinks felt comfortable as he recorded seven of his wins, including a marathon victory over No. 27 Tulsa's Tristan Jackson 10-7 in the third-set tiebreaker.

Fab Freshman
Mitch Thams displayed match toughness that gives UCF a bright future. The Queensland, Australia, native filled in quite well for the Knights this season, earning 10 victories in singles play. The versatile freshman from down under can also play doubles, teaming with three different Knights for eight victories.