Knights Show Out in Singles in 5-2 Victory Over Arkansas

Final Box

ORLANDO – The UCF men's tennis battled back Wednesday night to take a massive victory against No. 55 Arkansas, 5-2. The Knights acquired all five of their points in singles as they beat the Razorbacks on courts one through five. It was a crucial win for the Black and Gold as they look to climb back to .500 heading into the final weeks of the season.

"These are must-wins for us," said head coach John Roddick on the win. "Tonight was good, there was a little bit of pressure on these guys to win this type of match and they showed up."

The trio of Bogdan Pavel, Yassine Dlimi, and Mehdi Benchakorun were perfect tonight as each took their courts in straight sets, shifting the momentum for the Knights after a tough doubles point. On court one, No. 105 Pavel dominated in the first set, 6-0, before taking his first match of the home stand with a second set triumph, 6-3. Yassine Dlimi continues his great form with yet another victory on court three, 6-3, 6-1. The freshman has found his stride as of late, taking his fifth match from eight with only one loss in that span. His fellow Moroccan, Mehdi Benchakroun, held it down on court three, winning the match against Alan Sau Franco, 6-4, 6-1.

Liam Branger battled on court four with Benedikt Emesz as both went back and forth with the match on the line. After taking a contested first set, 7-5, Branger dropped set two, 1-6. As the Knights took court three and five, the attention turned towards both the Frenchman and Lleyton Cronje on court two. Cronje was in a tight duel himself after he took set one, 6-4. As his match was just beginning the third set, Branger was able to pull out the victory, taking the third set, 6-2. Cronje would then win his court two tie on a super tiebreak, 3-2 (10-6).

The doubles point went the Razorbacks way as they took both courts one and two. Dlimi and Llanes were in the midst of a tiebreaker on three before their match went unfinished.

Tonight's win was the first of a massive home stand that concludes with conference foes, Wichita State, Friday at 5 pm.

Singles competition
1. #105 Bogdan Pavel (UCF) def. Stefanos Scovva (ARKM) 6-0, 6-3
2. Lleyton Cronje (UCF) def. Melvin Manuel (ARKM) 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 3-2 (10-6)
3. Yassine Dlimi (UCF) def. Adrien Burdet (ARKM) 6-3, 6-1
4. #84 Liam Branger (UCF) def. Benedikt Emesz (ARKM) 7-5, 1-6, 6-2
5. Mehdi Benchakroun (UCF) def. Alan Sau Franco (ARKM) 6-4, 6-1
6. Gerard Planelles (ARKM) def. Francisco Llanes (UCF) 6-4, 6-4

Doubles competition
1. Melvin Manuel/Adrien Burdet (ARKM) def. Bogdan Pavel/Lleyton Cronje (UCF) 7-5
2. Stefanos Scovva/Alan Sau Franco (ARKM) def. Cooper White/Paul Colin (UCF) 6-4
3. Yassine Dlimi/Francisco Llanes (UCF) vs. Jacob Sweeney/Foster Rogers (ARKM) 6-6 (3-3), unfinished

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