Knights Triumphant in Regular Season Finale Against Tulsa, 4-2

Final Box

ORLANDO – The UCF men's tennis closed out the regular season in style, with a 4-2 win over Tulsa on Senior Day. It was a back-and-forth duel that was clinched yet again by Liam Branger on court four. The victory extends the Knights winning streak to four as they now move their sights toward the conference tournament.

"I was really proud of the guys today, Tulsa was a very good team," said head coach John Roddick shortly following the match. "I thought they played well, we had a lot of chances to go away in the match but the guys fought hard and really got gritty to pull out the win."

Following a wonderful ceremony before the match, Bogdan Pavel was then tasked with the 51st-ranked player in the nation, Kody Pearson. The fellow senior previously defeated the Knights on court one when the two squads met at ITA Kickoff Weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Today, Pavel got his shot and took it as the Romanian won in a tight straight-set duel, 7-6(7-5), 7-6(7-5). On three, Yassine Dlimi has now gone nine matches unbeaten with his seventh win coming in the form of a straight sets victory against Ezequiel Santalla, 6-2, 6-3. In the second set, the Moroccan was down 3-0 before going on a dominating run to take six games in a row. For the third match running, it was the Frenchman that clinched it for the Knights as Branger was clinical yet again. After dropping the first set 4-6, the freshman bounced back with an impressive 6-3 win in the second, before eventually taking the tiebreak 7-0 to win the rubber set, 7-6.

Toto Llanes was in the midst of a tight third set before his match went unfinished. Lleyton Cronje couldn't find his rhythm on court two as the senior lost 6-3, 6-2.

It has been an impressive swing in doubles play for the Knights as they've now won four consecutive matches. This afternoon, it was a close yet comfortable affair, as courts one and two both won 6-4. The 33rd-ranked tandem of Pavel and Cronje has had a strong week, winning both matches. Similar to the senior tandem, Dlimi and Llanes have taken their matches this week, and today, against the Tulsa duo of Seger and Siddall, the freshman pairing found their footing early to take court two.

The Knights now await their first-round opponent in the American Athletic Conference Tournament which will be hosted by UCF at the USTA National Campus. The first-round tie will be Friday, followed by the semi-finals on Saturday and the AAC Championships match on Sunday.