ECU Tops UCF at C-USA Championship to Conclude Sea

April 18, 2013

UCF Athletics Social Media Directory

By Mike Garabedian

The UCF men's tennis team saw its season come to an end Thursday after a 4-3 defeat, despite a hard-fought rally against East Carolina at the Conference USA Championship in Memphis, Tenn. Unfortunately for the Knights, inclement weather caused the match to move to the unfamiliar indoor courts of The Racquet Club of Memphis.

"We were not sharp enough all the way through today," UCF assistant coach Jordie Kindervater said. "We came up just short in a hard fought match."

With the match tied at three and only UCF's Jose Sangroniz and ECU's Nicolas Soriano battling at the No. 2 slot, the third set would determine the winner. However, the true freshman was unable to sustain the team's momentum and dropped a 6-1 third set to give ECU the victory.

The Knights (10-10) were tripped up due a slow start to begin the afternoon, which resulted in a loss of the doubles point.

"Credit to ECU for coming out hungry in doubles action," Kindervater added.

After the first set of singles play, ECU had all the momentum. But Juan Bolona and Francesc Aulina surged back to keep the Knights within striking distance.

Matthew Gladstone added to his team-high victory total with his 17th win of the season. The junior handled Damien Brenard 6-3, 6-3 at the No. 4 position to tie the match at 1-1.

No. 3 Amar Hromic (2-6, 5-7) and No. 1 Jorge Blasco (4-6, 4-6) dropped the next two matches to give ECU a 3-1 lead with only one point needed to clinch.

On the verge of defeat, Bolona bounced back after a rough first set. In his last career match, the senior won, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3, over No. 5 Colin Roller of the Pirates.

Following a 2-6 defeat in the first set, Aulina dominated the next two sets to tie the match at 3-3. The native of Spain beat Patriek Wolterbeek at the No. 6 slot, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.

"Despite the loss, I am proud of how seniors Blasco, Bolona and Samson came out and left everything they had on the court today," Kindervater said. "All three seniors have been model student-athletes over the course of their careers at UCF. They certainly did an outstanding job helping navigate our young guys through the course of their careers."

East Carolina (16-5) will advance to face No. 1 seed Tulsa tomorrow in the quarterfinals.

This marks the last time go-round for UCF in the C-USA Championship. The Knights are set to enter the Athletic American Conference next year.

Stay up to date with all UCF men's tennis news by following the team socially on Twitter @UCFM_Tennis and liking the UCF men's tennis Facebook page.

1. #59 Joran Vliegen/Colin Roller (ECU) def. Amar Hromic/Jorge Blasco (UCF) 8-4
2. John Schmitt/Mario Martinez (ECU) def. Matthew Gladstone/Juan Bolona (UCF) 8-2
3. Mario Samson/Francesc Aulina (UCF) DNF Patriek Wolterbeek/Nicolas Sorian (ECU) 6-3

1. #124 Joran Vliegen def. Jorge Blasco 6-4, 6-4
2. Nicolas Soriano def. Jose Sangroniz 6-7, 6-4, 6-1
3. Damien Brenard def. Amar Hromic 6-2, 7-5
4. Matthew Gladstone def. Colin Roller 6-3, 6-3
5. Juan Bolona def. Patriek Wolterbeek 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
6. Francesc Aulina def. Patriek Wolterbeek 2-6, 6-1, 6-1