Women's Tennis Drops Heartbreaker to No. 21 Oklahoma, 4-3

by Logan Hasselbach

ORLANDO – The UCF women’s tennis team battled to the end but was unable to overcome No. 21 Oklahoma at the USTA National Campus Friday night, 4-3.

The night started similarly to last Sunday against TCU, falling 3-0 after dropping the doubles point and courts one and six. Just like last Sunday, the Knights were not going down without a fight, picking up first set victories on three of the six singles courts.

The first Knight to put a point on the board was none other than No. 106 Sophia Biolay, who slotted in at court three for the first time this season. A difficult battle was lying ahead of her, going head-to-head with the 72nd-ranked singles player of Alina Shcherbinina. The junior didn’t bat an eye at the challenge, easily defeating the Sooner 6-2, 6-1 to earn her second ranked win of the season and her sixth-consecutive singles win.

Co-captain Jantje Tilbuerger got the Black and Gold one point closer to tying up the match at singles position four. After dominating the first set, dropping just two games, Chloe Noel of Oklahoma put up more of a fight in the second set. Nevertheless, Tilbuerger persevered, taking the match 6-2, 7-5, marking her fourth-consecutive straight-set win in singles play. The victory moved the sophomore to a perfect 4-0 in singles in the month of March, a team-leading mark.

At court five, Anique Kattenberg continued to make the most of her redshirt-junior season, with her fourth singles win of the 2024 campaign. She picked up right where she left off last Sunday, taking a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Ava Catanzarite, avenging her loss from Jan. 27. The win was Kattenberg’s third-straight singles win, a season-high streak.

The match felt like déjà vu for the team, the clinching point coming down to Noel Saidenova, this time at court two versus No. 33 Julia Garcia Ruiz. The two have met before in singles play, on Jan. 27, where the match went unfinished with Garcia Ruiz leading 6-4, 3-3. After dropping a difficult 6-1 first set, Saidenova picked up the aggression to come back and win the second set, 6-4. The junior battled in the third set, but was unable to pull off the upset, falling 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 to the 33rd-ranked singles player from Oklahoma, clinching the match for OU.


The Knights close out the homestand Sunday at noon when No. 7 Texas comes to the USTA National Campus.

No. 21 Oklahoma 4, UCF 3


No. 42 Dana Guzman (OU) def. Olivia Lincer (UCF) 6-1, 6-2

No. 33 Julia Garcia Ruiz (OU) def. Noel Saidenova (UCF) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2

No. 106 Sophia Biolay (UCF) def. No. 72 Alina Shcherbinina (OU) 6-1, 6-2

Jantje Tilbuerger (UCF) def. Chloe Noel (OU) 6-2, 7-5

Anique Kattenberg (UCF) def. Ava Catanzarite (OU) 6-4, 6-3

Emma Staker (OU) def. Donatella Guarnieri (UCF) 6-3, 6-1


Anique Kattenberg/Noel Saidenova (UCF) vs. No. 22 Roisin Gilheany/Dana Guzman (OU) 5-4, unfinished

No. 63 Julia Garcia Ruiz/Zdena Safarova (OU) def. Sophia Biolay/Jantje Tilbuerger (UCF) 6-3

Chloe Noel/Ava Catanzarite (OU) def. Donatella Guarnieri/Anya Ambarish (UCF) 6-0

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