Women's Tennis Set for NCAA First Round Matchup Against Georgia Tech

Tournament Bracket Live Stats Live Stream

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It has been almost 21 years since the Knights opened the NCAA tournament in Gainesville, Florida. The first-round match against Florida was the only NCAA tournament action the 2002 team saw that season, suffering a 4-0 defeat. UCF has made four additional tournament appearances since that season, advancing to at least the second round with each. The 2023 squad will look to continue this trend, as it goes head-to-head with familiar foe Georgia Tech on Friday, May 5. The first serve time is set for 11 a.m. at the Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex.
The Black and Gold last took the courts two week ago, playing in the AAC Championship at the USTA National Campus. The team had a successful run, dominating the quarter- and semi-finals, never dropping a set in the march to the finals. Facing off against SMU in the finale, the Knights struggled to gain momentum after losing the doubles point. Their tournament run came to an end as the runners-up, falling 4-0.
Despite the disappointing ending, the tournament was not without its highlights. Anique Kattenberg continued to excel on court six, extending her singles win streak to five. Jaleesa Leslie also showed out, winning each singles set she played, including in the matches that went unfinished. 
Friday's match may also see the return of some friendly faces in the form of Jantje Tilbuerger and Stefani Webb. Both freshmen have been out due to injury since March but are expected to make their return this weekend.
The latest ITA rankings saw a rise in the doubles tandem of Nandini Sharma and Webb, moving up to No. 68. Marie Mattel fell one spot in the singles rankings to No. 37, but she remains the highest-ranked singles player in the AAC. The team shifted up to No. 37 as well after its performance in the AAC Championship.
Georgia Tech also recently wrapped up its conference tournament but didn't see as much success as the Knights. The team earned a bye into the second round, where it took down Syracuse, 4-0. The quarterfinals were a bit more of a challenge, but the Yellow Jackets came out on top over Duke in a 4-3 nailbiter. They were blanked in the semi-final round by eventual ACC champion NC State to bring their tournament to a close.
The Yellow Jackets have four players ranked in the latest ITA polls, highlighted by No. 15 Carol Lee. Also featured in the rankings are No. 31 Kylie Bilchev, No. 102 Mahak Jain, and No. 115 Alejandra Cruz. The team fell two spots in the team rankings, dropping to No. 19.
This is not the first meeting between the two teams this season. They last saw each other Mar. 28, 2023, in Atlanta, Ga. While the match went in the way of the Yellow Jackets, there was more to the match that meets the eye. The Knights were forced to forfeit the No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles courts, with only five student-athletes available to play. UCF took three of the singles courts, highlighted by Kattenberg's first collegiate victory with a three-set victory on court five. With Tilbuerger and Webb expected to return, UCF will have a full roster to work with on the hunt for revenge.