#19 UCF Falls to #11 Florida in Season Opener

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 19 UCF men's tennis team dropped their season opener against the No. 11 Florida Gators by a score of 5-2 on Friday night.

"It was good for the guys to finally get a real live match," said Director of Tennis John Roddick. "We can play a little better in doubles. We fought hard in singles, there were some very bright spots there. We just need to keep fighting and get more matches under our belt."

The Gators came out of the gates fast in the doubles segment, claiming court three first as Ben Shelton and Josh Goodger topped Alan Rubio and Mikhail Sokolovskiy 6-1. Florida locked up the doubles point on court one where No. 45 Sam Riffice and Duarte Vale beat Gabriel Decamps and Trey Hilderbrand by a count of 6-2. Court two went unfinished as Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi and Bogdan Pavel were trailing Will Grant and Johannes Ingildsen 4-5.

The two squads split their first sets evenly as the Black and Gold tried to fight their way back from the doubles loss. The Gators moved swiftly in grabbing a pair of points early on in singles. No. 8 Riffice defeated Hilderbrand on court two by a count of 6-1, 6-1. No. 85 Andrade picked up a win shortly after on court three, beating Grassi Mazzuchi 6-2, 6-4.

Despite being down 3-0 on the scoreboard, UCF still had a chance at a comeback with all four remaining courts in third sets. The Gators quickly shut that window of opportunity as No. 68 Blaise Bicknell bested Sokolovskiy 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 on court five.

The match continued after the clincher as both sides agreed to play out the remainder of the match. Florida tacked on another point, collecting court six as Shelton edged Pavel 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

All-American No. 16 Decamps was in a tough battle with No. 12 Vale throughout the match at the top singles position. Vale worked his way from behind in the second frame to force a third stanza. Unphased, Decamps cruised through the final set to a 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 victory.

Rubio found himself going down to the wire with Ingildsen at the No. 4 singles spot. Rubio answered back with a tough second set win after falling in the first. The two were stride for stride in the third set; in the end Rubio was triumphant by a count of 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The Knights have another big match on their plate this weekend as they host the South Florida Bulls on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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