#11 UCF Advances to 3rd AAC Final in 4 Years

Box Score (PDF)

ORLANDO, Fla. – For the second time in as many full seasons, the No. 11, top-seeded UCF men's tennis team is advancing to the American Athletic Conference title match as they swept fifth-seeded Wichita State 4-0 Friday afternoon's semifinal match.

"I thought we were way better at No. 3 doubles today, that was a huge step for us as a team as that's where we've struggled this year," said Director of Tennis John Roddick. "That was very encouraging. In singles, we took care of business and we played better against Wichita this time than we did the last time around. We finished sets and closed out sets and were in good positions in the end on the unfinished courts. For me, that's what I wanted to see; I can't ask for much better than the way we played today."

UCF's tandem at the third spot in the lineup set the tone for the entire match as they came out hungry and jumped all over the Shockers early on. Alan Rubio and Kento Yamada coasted to a clean 6-0 win over Nicolas Acevedo and Stefan Latinovic. The remaining courts battled for the clinching point, but in the end, Gabriel Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi grinded out a 6-4 win on court two over Orel Ovil and Luka Mrsic. Court one went unfinished as No. 13 Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel were tied with No. 39 Murkel Dellien and Marius Frosa 5-5.

Every first set was tight as five courts finished their opening frames with a score of 6-4 and the other finishing in a tiebreak. The Knights won every single one of them, setting the table nicely for a victory.

No. 90 Grassi Mazzuchi was the first to complete his match, tallying a 6-4, 6-0 win over Latinovic on court three. He improves to 14-5 this season and has been victorious in his last three matches and in seven of his last eight completed contests.

Hilderbrand wrapped up his day next as he won his ninth straight match, beating Ovil 6-4, 6-3 on court five. Hilderbrand, along with Decamps, trail Yamada by one victory for the team lead this season and both own a 16-4 record. Yamada went on to earn the clinching victory on court four as he downed Acevedo 6-4, 6-3 to improve to 17-1 this season.

The Knights have hit the 20-victory mark as a team for the first time since 2003 and the sixth overall time in the program's 50-year history. It is the team's best season of the Roddick era, topping the previous best of 16 wins.

UCF is heading back to The American championship match for the third time under Roddick. They'll be looking to hoist their first title with him at the helm and the first for the program since 2003 when they were a part of the ASUN. In their previous two title matches, South Florida has awaited the Knights on the other side. The two will meet in the conference final for a third time in the last four tournaments on Saturday at 3 p.m. The match will be televised on ESPN+.

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