Knights Drop Match Versus Tulsa

Box Score

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The UCF men's tennis team dropped its final match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend, 4-1, to Tulsa on Sunday at the Ty Tucker Tennis Center on the Ohio State campus. After losing the doubles point, the Knights pushed four courts to three sets but couldn't pull it out.

Mehdi Benchakroun secured the only point for UCF, taking his match in straight sets against Tulsa's Callum Gale, 6-3, 6-2 to cap off an impressive weekend from the freshman.

Following yesterday's defeat to second-ranked Ohio State, the Knights didn't get out to the start they wanted. Lleyton Cronje and Bogdan Pavel, the 28th-ranked duo in the nation, lost their first match of the season, 7-5, to Connor Di Marco and Kody Pearson. Though Yassine Dlimi and Benchakroun were heading to a tiebreak at No. 3 doubles, Tulsa clinched the doubles point on court two after Gale and Daniel Siddall defeated Liam Branger and Paul Colin, 6-4.

Quinn Snyder slotted into court six for singles, but after taking the first set, couldn't pull out the victory and fell to Siddall, 4-6,7-6 (5), 6-4. Dlimi, playing on court one, also went the distance with Tulsa's Pearson, falling 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. It was a back-and-forth match that was decided late in the third when Pearson edged Dlimi down the stretch. Though for Dlimi, his first weekend of collegiate tennis showed the talent and fight the 19-year-old possesses that will continue throughout the 2023 season. Liam Branger and Pavel's courts went unfinished as each were in a stern three-set battle.

The Knights will look to regroup following their trip to Columbus before heading back on the road for meetings with Illinois and Nebraska in just under two weeks.

Tulsa 4, UCF 1
Singles Competition

1. Kody Pearson (TULSA) def. Yassine Dlimi (UCF) 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
2. Stefan Hampe (TULSA) vs. Bogdan Pavel (UCF) 6-2, 4-6, 6-6, unfinished
3. Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) def. Callum Gale (TULSA) 6-3, 6-2
4. Volodymyr Zakharov (TULSA) vs. Liam Branger (UCF) 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), 2-4, unfinished
5. Ezequiel Santalla (TULSA) def. Paul Colin (UCF) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2
6. Daniel Siddall (TULSA) def. Quinn Snyder (UCF) 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4

Doubles Competition
1. Connor Di Marco/Kody Pearson (TULSA) def. #28 Bogdan Pavel/Lleyton Cronje (UCF) 7-5
2. Callum Gale/Daniel Siddall (TULSA) def. Liam Branger/Paul Colin (UCF) 6-4
3. Stefan Hampe/Ezequiel Santalla (TULSA) vs. Mehdi Benchakroun/Yassine Dlimi (UCF) 6-6, unfinished

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (3,5,1,6)

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