Men's Tennis Nearly Pulls Off Huge Upset at C-USA Championship

April 20, 2012

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By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's tennis team nearly pulled off a monumental upset Friday in the quarterfinals of the Conference USA Championship, but top seed and 23rd-ranked Tulsa rallied for a 4-3 victory at the UCF Tennis Complex. The ninth-seeded Knights were seeking to become only the second squad in C-USA history to defeat a top-seeded team in the quarterfinals.

After each team won three singles contests, the match came down to doubles play where Tulsa (16-8) won at two of three positions.

"I am very proud of our effort," UCF head coach Bobby Cashman said. "Our guys left it all out there today and I am very proud of them. We are clearly heading in the right direction and battling against a top-25 team today proves that."

The Knights led 3-2 and had the chance to win the match at No. 2, but the Golden Hurricane's Clifford Marsland, who is ranked 94th nationally, came back to top Erik Brunskog (0-6, 6-3, 7-5).

UCF's three singles victories were impressive. At the No. 1 spot, Jorge Blasco defeated Japie De Klerk, who is ranked 103rd nationally, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Mario Samson defeated Tristan Jackson, 7-6 (7-1), 6-2, at No. 5. Playing in his final collegiate match, Joe Delinks topped Alejandro Espejo. The senior was a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 winner.

UCF concludes its season at 10-13.

UCF advanced to the quarterfinals thanks to a convincing 4-0 win over East Carolina Thursday. UCF was facing a nationally ranked opponent for the ninth time this spring.

The Knights are hosting the C-USA Championship for the second time since joining the league in 2005. The tournament will continue with three more quarterfinal matches Friday, two semifinals Saturday and the championship Sunday. Admission is free at the UCF Tennis Complex.

#23 TULSA 4, UCF 3

1. Jorge Blasco, UCF def. #103 Japie De Klerk, Tulsa 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
2. #94 Clifford Marsland, Tulsa def. Erik Brunskog, UCF, 0-6, 6-3, 7-5
3. #85 Ashley Watling, Tulsa def. Mitch Thams, UCF, 6-4, 6-1
4. Grant Ive, Tulsa def. Juan Bolona, UCF, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
5. Mario Samson, UCF def. Tristan Jackson, Tulsa, 6-7 (1), 6-2
6. Joe Delinks, UCF def. Alejandro Espejo, Tulsa, 7-6 (5), 6-1
Order of finish: 5, 6, 3, 4, 1, 2

1. #9 Ashley Watling/Clifford Marsland, Tulsa vs. Joe Delinks/Mitch Thams, UCF - DNF
2. Grant Ive/Tristan Jackson, Tulsa def. Jorge Blasco/Mario Samson, UCF, 7-5
3. Japie De Klerk/Alejandro Espejo, Tulsa def. Juan Bolona/Matthew Gladstone, UCF, 8-1
Order of finish: 2, 3