Knights Lose a Thriller With Oklahoma State

STILLWATER, Oklahoma – The UCF men's tennis team battled throughout with no. 30 Oklahoma State but fell just short amongst multiple three-set duels, losing the match 4-2. The Knights were able to push the Cowboys to three three-set ties before our future Big 12 opponents clinched on court two.

"We battled really hard tonight," said head coach John Roddick on the tight loss. "I'm really proud of how we competed, came up a bit short but we are getting better."
Liam Branger has truly settled in at the collegiate level, taking his third win of four with a resounding straight set victory against Francisco Pini, 7(7)-6(5), 6-4. The Frenchman has found his stride on court five and now having four wins under his belt, Branger will look to keep up the good play heading into the second half of the season. Bogdan Pavel joined him in giving the Knights their second point of the match with his second consecutive win. The senior bested Oklahoma State's Tyler Zink, 7-5, 6-3. Pavel remains just a win away from breaking the programs all-time doubles wins record.

Three courts went deep into the third set as Lleyton Cronje, Yassine Dlimi, and Toto Llanes were in a back-and-forth bout with their opponents. Cronje and Llanes weren't able to pull out the victories though as the freshman, Llanes, fell 7-5, 4-6, 4-6 to Alessio Basile. Cronje's court two tie went to a tiebreak which Oklahoma State's Isaac Becroft won, clinching the match for the Cowboys, 6-3, 5-7, 6(5)-7(7). Mehdi Benchakroun fell in straight sets to Alex Garcia, 1-6, 0-6.

The Black and Gold came up short in doubles to start the match, dropping courts one and three. Paul Colin and Cooper White who made their first appearances in some time, went unfinished on court two.

UCF will turn its attention towards conference opponent SMU as it's set to make the trip south for a Sunday matinee at 1 pm ET in Dallas.

1 Chase Ferguson and Tyler Zink (OSUM) def. Lleyton Cronje and Bogdan Pavel (UCF) 6-2
2 Alessio Basile and Isaac Becroft (OSUM) vs. Cooper White and Paul Colin (UCF) match was unfinished 5-4
3 Alex Garcia and Francisco Pini (OSUM) def. Yassine Dlimi and Francisco Llanes (UCF) 6-2

1 Bogdan Pavel (UCF) def. Tyler Zink (OSUM) 7-5 6-2
2 Isaac Becroft (OSUM) def. Lleyton Cronje (UCF) 3-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5)
3 Chase Ferguson (OSUM) vs. Yassine Dlimi (UCF) match was unfinished 6-2 4-6 6-6 (2-1)
4 Alex Garcia (OSUM) def. Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) 6-1 6-0
5 Liam Branger (UCF) def. Francisco Pini (OSUM) 7-6 (7-5) 6-4
6 Alessio Basile (OSUM) def. Francisco Llanes (UCF) 5-7 6-4 6-4