Knights Defeated by Second Ranked Ohio State at ITA Kickoff Weekend

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The UCF men's tennis team was defeated 4-0 by second-ranked Ohio State in the first match of ITA Kickoff Weekend. Though the Knights kept it close in the second set, the Buckeyes were able to find the clincher.

"We lost to a very good indoor team today, we have some things we need to work on, but this team is going in the right direction," said UCF head coach John Roddick on today's meeting with one of the nation's best.
Two Knights made their debuts today, with Yassine Dlimi and Liam Branger slotting into both lineups. Each fell in their doubles matches, which yet again saw the 28th-ranked duo of Lleyton Cronje and Bogdan Pavel go unfinished on court one. Dlimi led the Black and Gold on court one in singles and after a tough result in the first set, 1-6, he went back and forth in the second and was on the brink of forcing a third before the match was clinched and it went unfinished. Dlimi's fellow countryman Mehdi Benchakroun also found his stride in the second set on court four after dropping the first set. Up 4-2 in the second before Ohio State took the match, Benchakroun has shown an ability to battle back and turn the tide of a match thus far.
Cronje, who shifted to court three, was defeated by the fifth-ranked player in the country, JJ Tracy, 6-0, 6-3. Pavel was the last of three counts that didn't play out, though the Romanian was down a set and on the brink of his first defeat of the season on court two. Branger, along with fellow Frenchman Paul Colin, couldn't find the upper hand on courts five and six.
UCF will be back at it again tomorrow at 9 a.m., facing the loser of today's second match in Columbus between Tulsa and Oregon.
1. Justin Boulais (OSU) vs. Yassine Dlimi (UCF) 6-1, 4-5, unfinished
2. Cannon Kingsley (OSU) vs. Bogdan Pavel (UCF) 6-3, 5-2, unfinished
3. #5 JJ Tracy (OSU) def. Lleyton Cronje (UCF) 6-0, 6-3
4. #90 Alexander Bernard (OSU) vs. Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) 6-3, 2-4, unfinished
5. James Trotter (OSU) def. Liam Branger (UCF) 6-1, 6-4
6. Robert Cash (OSU) def. Francisco Llanes (UCF) 6-1, 6-2
1. James Trotter/Andrew Lutschaunig (OSU) vs. #28 Lleyton Cronje/Bogdan Pavel (UCF) 5-2, unfinished
2. Justin Boulais/Robert Cash (OSU) def. Luca Hotze/Liam Branger (UCF) 6-1
3. JJ Tracy/Cannon Kingsley (OSU) def. Mehdi Benchakroun/Yassine Dlimi (UCF) 6-1

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