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Women's Tennis Picks Up 12 Wins at Miami Spring Invite

by Franki Noble

ORLANDO - The UCF women's tennis team began its 2024 spring schedule in south Florida at the Miami Spring Invite. The Black and Gold, who are receiving votes in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, picked up 12 total wins over the three-day tournament, lasting from Jan. 12 to Jan. 14, competing in both singles and doubles play against No. 17 Vanderbilt, TCU and No. 21 Miami.

On the opening day, Sophia Biolay and Anique Kattenberg claimed the first win of the calendar year for the Knights in the doubles competition, defeating Vanderbilt's Anessa Lee and Bridget Stammel (7-6(7)). Shifting into singles play, the Knights took two of four matches to wrap up the first day of play. Noel Saidenova and Kattenber defeated Amy Stevens (6-1, 6-4) and Sonya Macavei (6-4, 6-2) of Vanderbilt, respectively. 


The Knights picked up the pace on Saturday, earning twice as many wins as the day prior. Taking on TCU this round, the tandems of Biolay and Jaleesa Leslie and Olivia Lincer and Kattenberg found success in their doubles matches. Biolay and Leslie defeated Destinee Martins and Isabel Pascual with a score of 6-1. Lincer and Kattenberg took down the duo of Chiho Mushika and Helena Narmont (6-2), giving Lincer her first-ever doubles win as a member of the Black and Gold. In singles play, Leslie made her first singles appearance of the tournament, defeating Mushika (6-1, 6-4). Jantje Tilbuerger earned her first win of the tournament as well, going shot-for-shot with TCU's No. 58 Martins. The Knight came out on top (3-6, 6-3, 6-3) for her first ranked win of the spring. More singles victories on day two included Biolay and Saidenova taking down TCU competitors Jade Otway (4-6, 6-4, 6-1) and Narmont (6-2, 6-3).


On the final day of the tournament, Biolay picked up her second singles win, defeating Miami's Xinyi Nong (6-4, 3-0, retired). Saidenova's success continues with a win against Miami's Antonia Balzert (6-3, 6-4). The win marked the junior's seventh-consecutive singles victory, the streak dating back to the opening day of the Big 12 Fall Invite Nov. 9. After getting her first doubles win just the day before, Lincer found success once again on the doubles court, pairing with Tilbuerger to defeat Miami's Leonia Schuknecht and Maria Paula Vargas (6-3).


The Knights kick off their inaugural Big 12 Conference dual matches season with a doubleheader against No. 20 Georgia Tech and Bethune-Cookman Jan. 20. Play against Georgia Tech begins at 11 a.m. and against Bethune-Cookman at 4 p.m.