CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The UCF men's tennis team put forth a dominating effort on Sunday afternoon as they defeated the Virginia Cavaliers by a score of 6-1 to wrap up the Knights' ACC road trip.
"We played a very good match today against Virginia," said UCF Director of Tennis John Roddick, "I'm really proud of the way we competed and finished matches today. It's a big win for our program and gives us good momentum moving forward."
The momentum didn't start with UCF, as Virginia was the first to claim a doubles court. Carl Soderlund and Matthew Lord beat Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel at the top doubles position to take an early edge in the segment. The Knights struck back on court two, where No. 6 Gabriel Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi defeated another ranked pair in No. 53 Gianni Ross and William Woodall by a score of 6-3. The deciding court went to the Black and Gold as JanMagnus Johnson and Alan Rubio edged Ryan Goetz and Christian Alshon 6-4 to clinch the doubles point.
The Knights got out to a solid start in singles play. After splitting the first sets evenly at three apiece, UCF quickly claimed two courts in straight sets. Hilderbrand was the first to clinch, taking down Christian Alshon 6-4, 6-0 on court five. Rubio followed suit closely after, edging No. 68 Gianni Ross 6-3, 6-4 at the No. 3 singles spot.
It was anyone's match after Rubio's victory. Despite the 3-0 lead, the four remaining singles courts had all gone into third sets.
The Cavaliers attempted to mount a comeback, would collect their only point of the day on court four where No. 108 Pavel was edged by Lord 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
UCF seized control the rest of the way. Mikhail Sokolovskiy would collect the match clincher on court six where he bested Woodall 3-6, 6-1, 6-4. The two sides played out the remaining courts, winning them both. No. 22 Decamps won his third set with ease, beating Soderlund 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 at the top singles spot. Wrapping up the day was No. 29 Grassi Mazzuchi at singles No. 2, beating No. 115 Goetz 6-1, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3.
Both teams came into the match receiving votes in the Oracle/ITA team rankings released on Jan. 29. Virginia began the season at No. 10 in that poll and has since dropped a bit. They sit at No. 21 in USTA's poll.
The Knights will hit the road once more to face another Power 6 team as they'll visit No. 19 Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 9.
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