Four Knights Tabbed as AAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year

ORLANDO – The American Athletic Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards for the 2020-21 season on Wednesday and four UCF student-athletes were recognized in their respective sports.
Rowing senior Julie Poulsen, men's soccer senior Yannik Oettl, women's tennis senior Ksenia Kuznetsova and men's tennis junior Gabriel Decamps were chosen by the Faculty Athletic Representatives (FARs). Each will receive a post-graduate financial scholarship of $2,000 and a trophy. They can accept the scholarship or defer it for a period of two years.
The recipients of the award must have maintained both excellent academic credentials and outstanding athletic performance during the year.
A two-time All-American, Poulsen has been a standout for UCF Rowing during her tenure. She joined the team in January 2017 and has rowed in UCF's Varsity Eight each season. She is a three-time conference champion, a four-time first team all-conference selection and was a member of The American Boat of the Year in 2017.
A native of Odder, Denmark, Poulsen has also excelled in the classroom. She was awarded the Order of Pegasus, recognizes exemplary performance by graduate and undergraduate students in the areas of academic achievement, outstanding university involvement, leadership and community service. Poulsen graduated with a degree in human communication and appeared on the President's Honor Roll or Dean's List every semester at UCF.
The three-time American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year, Yannik Oettl was also a three-time all-region honoree for the Knights. He posted an 0.81 goals against average during the 2020-21 season with six shutouts and eight wins. He ranked in the top 30 in the country in saves per game and save percentage.
A native of Munich, Germany, Oettl graduated a semester early with a degree in nonprofit management and a minor in sports business management. He was a Second Team selection for the Senior CLASS Award in 2021.
A two-time all-conference selection, Kuznetsova helped UCF to back-to-back American Athletic Conference championships. She amassed 37 victories with partner Valeriya Zeleva, setting the program record for doubles wins. She helped UCF to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Doubles Championships in 2019.
A native of Moscow, Russia, Kuznetsova earned her degree in human communication with a professional tennis management undergraduate certificate. She was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete in 2018-19 and 2019-20 while also helping UCF extend its streak as an ITA All-Academic Team to 10 consecutive years.
The 2021 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Gabriel Decamps became the first Knight in program history to be named an ITA Singles All-American in 2019-20 and repeated the accomplishment in 2020-21. He not only earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Singles Championships, but also became the first nationally seeded Knight as he entered the tournament as a top 16 seed. A pair of victories advanced him to the Sweet 16, a first in program history. After starting the season ranked 16th on the Oracle/ITA singles list, Decamps went on a 13-match win streak to reach as high as No. 3 in the rankings. He also led UCF to a top 10 ranking as a team while helping the Knights earn their first NCAA Tournament win as a squad in program history.
A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Decamps earned his degree in human communication. In May, he was named to the 2020-21 Scholar Baller Academic Momentum Award Second Team. Decamps contributed to UCF's 2017-18 American Athletic Conference Team Academic Excellence Award and has helped the Knights set a program-best streak of three straight seasons as an ITA All-Academic Team.
UCF's four sport Scholar-Athletes of the Year mark the most since the 2016-17 season when four Knights earned Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards. Poulsen and Oettl give UCF back-to-back Scholar-Athletes of the Year in rowing and men's tennis. Kuznetsova is the first women's tennis honoree since 2017-18 and Decamps is the first men's tennis player to be recognized since 2016-17.  
The American will announce the entirety of its All-Academic Team members, as well the Team Academic Excellence awards on Thursday.