Three Knights Garner All-AAC Honors

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Knights front-three trio of Bogdan Pavel, Lleyton Cronje and Yassine Dlimi combined for 20 wins over the Knights final nine matches this season and following a trip to the American Athletic Conference Tournament as the two-seed, the group has received multiple postseason honors. Pavel's final campaign in Orlando was a perfect sendoff for one of the program's best athletes as along with his partner Cronje, the duo was named to both the singles and doubles All-Conference teams. Dlimi was too named to the All-Conference Singles Team, though for the Moroccan, his brilliant first season at UCF was rewarded with the coveted Freshman of the Year honor. UCF led the conference with five honors as their 2023 season, however chaotic, saw many performances to be proud of.


-       All-Conference Singles/Doubles

Throughout his five seasons at UCF, Pavel has been a staple in head coach John Roddick's squad. From a freshman year that saw the Romanian garner his first All-Conference honor to his sophomore campaign where he advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championships, Pavel has shown versatility in all facets on the court. This season, he helped foster seven new freshmen and took the court one mantle in mid-February, winning nine matches and leading the Knights line in singles. Pavel set a career-high with 13 wins to go along with his best ranking to date (84th) as he was integral in the squad's mid-season turnaround. His doubles play was on-par with previous seasons, as he won 11 matches alongside Cronje on court one. The season was highlighted by a victory at SMU which saw Pavel overtake Gabriel Decamps for the most doubles wins in program history. Later this month, he will embark on his third NCAA Doubles Championships with 72 career wins to his name.


-       All-Conference Singles/Doubles

Since transferring to UCF in the fall of 2021 from VCU, Cronje has slotted into the squad in dominating fashion. The senior garnered his first nod to the All-Conference Singles Team to go along with his second consecutive inclusion on the All-Conference Doubles Team. Primarily featuring on court two in singles play, the South African native won eight matches, highlighted by a five-match winning streak from late March to early April where he only dropped two sets. After being paired with Pavel for the first-half of the 2022 dual-match season, the tandem played all 23 matches alongside each other leading the Knights in doubles play. In mid-March, the tandem defeated both the third and seventh-ranked pairs in the nation which saw them eventually climb to 26th in the ITA rankings. Cronje, who competed in the 2021 NCAA Singles Championships, will now make his first career appearance in the NCAA Doubles Championships with Pavel.


-       Freshman of the Year
-       All-Conference Singles

Arriving at UCF from Morocco weeks before the 2023 season, Dlimi wasted no time in getting acclimated to college tennis. This afternoon, he was named the American Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, along with a nod to the All-Conference Singles Team. Following stints on both courts one and two, Dlimi shinned on three as he racked up 11 wins from 16 matches. After picking up his first collegiate win against North Florida in late February, the freshman went on to lose just two matches as his dominance in the latter half of the season was highlighted by a ten-match unbeaten run and an eventual AAC Player of the Week honor to cap-off the regular season. Dlimi is the second Knight to be named AAC Freshman of the Year, joining Inaki Espindola's 2014 honor.

Below is a full list of the postseason honors:

Player of the Year
Adam Neff, Jr., SMU

Freshman of the Year
Yassine Dlimi, UCF

Coach of the Year
Grant Chen, SMU

All-Conference Team

Lleyton Cronje, Sr., UCF
Yassine Dlimi, Fr., UCF
Bogdan Pavel, Sr., UCF
Pablo Alemany, So., Memphis
Adam Neff, Jr., SMU
Kody Pearson, Sr., Tulsa

Bogdan Pavel (Sr.)/Lleyton Cronje (Sr.), UCF
Adam Neff (Jr.)/Pranav Kumar (Gr.), SMU
Erik Grevelius (Jr.)/Alvin Tudorica (Jr.), South Florida