UCF Women’s Tennis Takes Down No. 19 Arizona State

AUBURN, Ala. – The 23rd-ranked UCF women's tennis team rallied from an early 2-0 deficit with four consecutive points to earn a 4-2 victory against No. 19 Arizona State Saturday afternoon in the 2023 ITA Kickoff Weekend held at the Yarbrough Tennis Center on the Auburn campus.

With the win, the Knights (2-0) hand the previously unbeaten Sun Devils (5-1) their first loss of the season. ASU had won its previous five matches by a combined score of 35-0.

UCF advances to the championship match on Sunday where the squad will meet the hosts and 15th-ranked Auburn Tigers. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. ET and live video will be available at this link.

Trailing 2-0 in the match, UCF's 47th-ranked Marie Mattel continued her hot start to the season with a win over No. 69 Giulia Morlet 6-2, 7-5, at the No. 1 singles position to get the Knights on the scoreboard. Freshman Jantje Tilbuerger evened the match at 2-2 a few minutes later with a straight sets victory against Arizona State's 74th-ranked Domenika Turkovic, 6-2, 7-6 (2).

The final three singles matches would all be determined in three sets, as both teams left it all on the court in pursuit of victory.

After dropping the first set 6-1, UCF's Nandini Sharma bounced back in a big way for the Knights with a 6-3 second-set win to force a decisive third set against Patricija Spaka. The redshirt senior and 110th-ranked singles player delivered for the Black and Gold, winning the third set 6-3 to give UCF a 3-2 lead in the match.

UCF's Sophia Biolay and Arizona State's Sedona Gallagher had a tightly contested third set, after a pair of lopsided first two sets. Gallagher, ranked No. 95 in singles, took the opening set 6-0 before Biolay answered with an equally as impressive showing in the second set, 6-1. Biolay rose to the occasion for the Knights with a 7-6 (5) win in the third set to clinch the match for UCF, 4-2.

Noel Saidenova and ASU's Chelsea Fontenel were in the third set of their match when the overall match was clinched, so it went unfinished. Fontenel won the first set, 7-5, before Saidenova countered by winning the second set 7-6 (2) and was leading 3-2 in the third when the match was stopped.

Arizona State's Marianna Argyrokastriti, ranked No. 84 in singles by the ITA, defeated Jaleesa Leslie 6-1, 6-3.

In doubles play, ASU's Morlet and Gallagher outdid Tilbuerger and Leslie, 6-3, before Argyrokastriti and Fontenel defeated UCF's Biolay and Sharma 6-4 to take the opening point of the match. Mattel and Saidenova were tied with the ninth-ranked tandem of Spaka and Turkovic when the doubles point was clinched, and it went unfinished.

#23 UCF 4, #19 Arizona State 2
Singles Competition

1. #47 Marie Mattel (UCF) def. #69 Giulia Morlet (ASU) 6-2, 7-5
2. Jantje Tilbuerger (UCF) def. #74 Domenika Turkovic (ASU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-2)
3. Chelsea Fontenel (ASU) vs. Noel Saidenova (UCF) 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 2-3, unfinished
4. #84 Argyrokastriti, M. (ASU) def. Jaleesa Leslie (UCF) 6-1, 6-3
5. Sophia Biolay (UCF) def. #95 Sedona Gallagher (ASU) 0-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
6. #110 Nandini Sharma (UCF) def. Patricija Spaka (ASU) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3

Doubles Competition
1. #9 Patricija Spaka/Domenika Turkovic (ASU) vs. Marie Mattel/Noel Saidenova (UCF) 4-4, unfinished
2. Giulia Morlet/Sedona Gallagher (ASU) def. Jantje Tilbuerger/Jaleesa Leslie (UCF) 6-3
3. Chelsea Fontenel/Argyrokastriti, M. (ASU) def. Nandini Sharma/Sophia Biolay (UCF) 6-4

Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (4,1,2,6,5)

The Knights have a quick turnaround, as the squad plays the host Auburn Tigers at 2 p.m. ET Sunday for a chance to advance to the ITA Indoor Team Championship for the first time in program history.
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