Knights Set For Meeting With Miami

ORLANDO – The UCF men's tennis team will wrap up its five-game road trip this Friday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. in Miami, facing off against the Hurricanes (4-2). The Knights will look to snap the four-match skid before returning to the USTA National Campus next weekend against North Florida and Florida State.
Following UCF's 5-2 win over Georgia Southern in late January, the squad has faced four tough opponents, including the nation's No. 1 team, Ohio State, and two matches against Big 10 opponents. The Knights have battled throughout, taking multiple courts to set three at Illinois and Nebraska.

Bogdan Pavel, the lone fifth year and leader of this young team, is undefeated to start the season on court two. With four wins, including two on the jump, Pavel is off to the best start in his collegiate singles career. The Romanian provided the lone point for the Knights in their matches with No. 16 Florida and the Knights last outing with Illinois. Both he and Lleyton Cronje also picked up their first doubles win against the Cornhuskers, 6-3, as the duo remains 48th in the nation.
Freshman Liam Branger, who slotted into court five last weekend, took home his first singles win against Illinois's Oliver Okonkwo, 0-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1. The Frenchman has had two of his first four collegiate matches go unfinished, with the ties both going the distance. The Moroccan duo of Mehdi Benchakroun and Yassine Dlimi has been very promising in the first weeks of their UCF careers. Dlimi, one of the most talented recruits in this year's class, has competed at a high level since making his debut on court one at Ohio State. Benchakroun too has been pitted against some of the opponent's best on court four, showing his knack for battling back.
The Hurricanes come into Friday's meeting following two straight wins against fellow Florida opponents, defeating North Florida, 7-1, and Florida Atlantic, 4-0. Like the Knights, Miami found a tough going at the ITA Kickoff Weekend, losing to Louisville, 4-1, before dropping a close match with LSU, 4-3.
Led by graduate Dan Martin, ranked 51st in the nation, and Martin Katz, ranked 21st in the nation, Miami boasts an experienced and talented squad. Martin is off to a 4-1 start to 2023, with all of his wins coming on court one. Katz on the other hand has yet to drop a match in his two starts thus far. The second of two graduates on the roster, Leonard Bierbaum is off to a flying start, taking four of four, splitting matches on courts five and six.
The match is set to begin at 3 p.m. with live stats and streaming available.