NORMAN, Okla. – The No. 26 UCF men's tennis team earned its second straight 4-0 sweep over a ranked opponent in as many days as they topped No. 24 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon.
"We played our best match of the year today," said Director of Tennis John Roddick. "Really proud of the adjustments we made in doubles and the way we competed in singles."
The Knights went back to a familiar doubles lineup as Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel along with Gabriel Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi were paired together for the first time in 2021. The lineup was shades of the 2019 and 2020 dual match seasons, where Hilderbrand and Pavel earned a spot at the NCAA Doubles Championships in 2019 and eventually climbed to No. 3 in the nation. Decamps and Grassi Mazzuchi had gone on incredible streaks as a tandem, winning eight straight to end the 2019 season and going 10-2 in the shortened 2020 campaign.
Those two tandems were the ones to get the job done on Saturday. Court two saw Decamps and Grassi Mazzuchi finish first, earning a 6-3 win over Mason Beiler and Jake Van Emburgh. The Knights locked up the doubles point on court one where Hilderbrand and Pavel pulled to a 6-4 victory over No. 52 Nathan Han and Alex Martinez.
Singles saw the Sooners bounce back early in the first set and earn breaks across multiple courts. Unphased, the Knights fought their way through the adversity to take five of six first sets.
Grassi Mazzuchi was the first to earn a point in singles as he bested Martinez 6-4, 6-0 on court three.
Hilderbrand and Decamps finished within a minute of each other to seal the match. Hilderbrand bested Mandlik 6-4, 6-3 on court five, followed quickly by a 6-4, 6-0 victory by No. 4 Decamps over No. 110 Van Emburgh.
With the win, Decamps has triumphed in 11 straight matches and sits at a record of 13-1. His defeat of No. 110 Van Emburgh gives him a record of 5-1 against ranked opponents this season. He now has 65 career victories as a Knight, moving him into a tie of sixth place on UCF's all-time singles wins list with Catalin Bradu who played from 2000-04. Sokolovskiy sits just ahead of Decamps with 70 career victories and in a tie of fourth place.
Courts two, four and six went unfinished. Court two saw Alan Rubio take his first set over No. 105 Beiler but trailing in the second frame 6-2, 2-4. Kento Yamada dropped his first set of the season and was level with Han in the second stanza by a count of 1-6, 3-3. Sokolovskiy fought his way back to a first set victory and was ahead in the second 7-6 (7-3), 3-0.
UCF ties the all-time series against Oklahoma at one apiece. Prior to Saturday, the two teams had only faced once, all the way back in March of 1989 when the Sooners beat the Knights at home 6-0.
The match was Roddick's first time playing against Oklahoma with the Knights, a place he coached at for seven years prior to landing the UCF job. While with the Sooners, Roddick guided the team to a No. 1 team ranking and an ITA National Indoor title.
The Black and Gold will wrap up their weekend tomorrow as they visit No. 18 Oklahoma State. UCF looks to return to Orlando with all three victories from their three-day trp against three ranked opponents.
GET THE APP
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone. The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news. Click here to download the app now.