ORLANDO, Fla. – The No. 26 UCF men's tennis team earned a 6-1 victory over No. 31 Arkansas off the strength of six straight-set wins in singles on Wednesday night.
"Singles was really good tonight; we didn't drop a set" said Director of Tennis John Roddick. "That team just beat #12 Texas A&M last weekend. Arkansas has been in every match they've played. They came in 8-6 but they've played a tough schedule and have been in some tough matches. To go out and take care of the match in singles like that is the goal…to have all of our guys playing at the same level at the same time."
The Knights struck first in doubles, but it was ultimately the Razorbacks who controlled the opening segment of the match. Mikhail Sokolovskiy and Kento Yamada earned the win on court three, topping Alex Reco and Nico Rousset 6-3. Arkansas led the remaining two courts at the time and didn't look back. They took court two by a count of 6-2 as Adrien Burdet and Melvin Manuel beat Bogdan Pavel and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi, snapping their six-match winning streak. The Razorbacks clinched doubles at the top spot in the lineup, edging No. 21 Gabriel Decamps and Trey Hilderbrand 6-4.
UCF shook off the doubles point and rebounded well in singles, winning all six first sets. The trend continued for the entirety of the match as the Black and Gold were victorious across all singles courts in straight sets.
Yamada was the first court to finish as he remains perfect in singles this season, advancing to a record of 9-0. He made quick work of Manuel triumphing over him 6-2, 6-0 at the No. 4 spot in the lineup.
Grassi Mazzuchi earned the next singles victory, besting Aleksa Buncan 6-4, 6-1 on court three.
No. 4 Decamps wrapped up his match on court one a few moments later where he topped Reco 6-3, 6-1 to get the Knights one shy of the clincher. Decamps has been victorious in nine straight singles matches and is now 11-1 on the campaign.
The next two courts all ended up finishing within minutes of each other. Alan Rubio earned the clinching point for the Knights as he topped Rousset on court two by a score of 6-1, 6-3. Hilderbrand added another point to the scoreboard with his 7-5, 6-2 victory over Burdet on court five.
Capping off the perfect run in singles for the evening was Sokolovskiy on court six as he edged Paya 6-4, 7-5. Sokolovskiy stays hot as he bumps his winning streak to 10 matches after Wednesday night's win. He is 10-1 this season, having only dropped his first match of 2021.
UCF is 2-1 all-time against Arkansas with the victory. Prior to the Roddick era, the two sides had never met.
The Knights have a gauntlet of ranked teams lined up ahead of them, all in a three-day span on the road this weekend. UCF will face No. 48 SMU on Friday at 4 p.m. in Dallas before visiting No. 24 Oklahoma on Saturday and No. 18 Oklahoma State on Sunday.
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