#19 UCF Edged 4-3 By #10 Texas A&M

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 19 UCF men's tennis team fell short in its comeback attempt against No. 10 Texas A&M, losing by a count of 4-3 on Wednesday evening.

"We lost a heartbreaker tonight," said Director of Tennis John Roddick. "I give Texas A&M a ton of credit for closing out a few sets at the end. We will do a better job closing out games and learn from tonight."

The match was originally scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Rain continued to come in and out of the area for six hours, delaying the match's start time to 4 p.m.

Doubles got off to a good start for the Knights as Gabriel Decamps and Trey Hilderbrand earned their third ranked win of the season as a pair, topping No. 48 Bjorn Thomson and Carlos Aguilar at the top spot in the lineup. The remaining two courts saw UCF trailing 5-4 and wind up rallying with their backs against the wall to force tiebreakers. Court two finished first and fell the way of Texas A&M as Hady Habib and Noah Schachter edged Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi and Bogdan Pavel 7-6 (7-5). The Aggies secured the doubles point on court three as Valentin Vacherot and Pierce Rollins earned a 7-6 (7-2) win over Alan Rubio and Kento Yamada.

The Knights won four of six first sets, giving themselves a chance to rebound after a narrow loss in the doubles segment. The two first sets that the Aggies won turned into two points before UCF could strike back. The first court to fall was court four as No. 116 Schachter topped Rubio 6-2, 6-2. Texas A&M collected court two shortly after as No. 13 Habib beat No. 52 Grassi Mazzuchi 6-2, 6-4.

Although they were down 3-0 on the scoreboard, the Knights were far from finished, as they controlled the four matches in progress.

Yamada, who made his debut for UCF on Wednesday, earned a solid 6-2, 6-3 victory over Guido Marson to put the Black and Gold on the scoreboard. The Kentucky transfer brings an impressive singles resume to Orlando, as he finished the shortened 2020 season with a 10-2 record in dual match play. Overall, Yamada is 33-16 in his career in dual matches and 50-21 in singles.

Sokolovskiy followed up Yamada's act and tallied a point of his own court six. In a back-and-forth affair, Sokolovskiy wound up edging Raphael Perot 6-4, 7-6 (7-2). The win is the 61st singles victory for Skolovskiy, as he moves into a tie of seventh place on the Knights' all-time list.

UCF leveled the match at three a side with a huge victory from No. 16 Decamps at the top spot in the lineup. Matched up against the No. 4 player in the country in Vacherot, Decamps battle back from being down 4-1 in the first set to win 7-5. The second stanza was just as close and was even at 3-3 halfway through the set. Decamps powered through and earned three of the next four games to secure his first victory over a top five player in his career.

The match rested in the hands of court three, where Hilderbrand and No. 33 Aguilar dueled all night long. Hilderbrand was triumphant in the first frame, earning a 7-6 (7-4) victory. Aguilar battled back in the second set, surviving multiple match points against him and eventually winning the set 7-5. Aguilar kept the momentum going and clinched the match with a 6-1 third-set victory.

The Knights will hit the highway and head up to Jacksonville to visit UNF at 2 p.m. on Friday before heading south to play FAU on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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