Women's Tennis Drops Heartbreaker to No. 1 Oklahoma State, 4-3

by Logan Hasselbach

ORLANDO – In its last match at home, the No. 55 UCF women’s tennis team battled, but fell to top-ranked Oklahoma State, 4-3. After the match was clinched, the Knights earned three singles points within moments of each other to avoid the sweep.

A team loss is always tough, no matter who we play, but I’m just proud of the fight that they showed today. It was an awesome and fitting way for Anique and Noel to go out. It gives us confidence going into next week, for sure.

Bryan KonieckoHead Coach

The doubles point started off hot for the Knights, with Noel Saidenova and Anique Kattenberg going up 3-0 on court one against the No. 4 ranked doubles pairing from Oklahoma State. On court three, Donatella Guarnieri and Olivia Lincer exchanged a couple of holds each before falling down a break. The Knights were unable to rebound from the break, falling 6-2. The UCF duo at court one was defeated by the 4th-ranked Cowgirls, 6-4, dropping the doubles point.

Oklahoma State continued to push in the singles portion of the contest, quickly picking up court six in straight sets.

After falling in the first set 6-0, No. 123 Biolay put up a fight in the second set, holding serve for a trio of games. The 4th-ranked singles player Ange Oby Kajuru retaliated, taking the second set and the match 6-0, 6-3.

The Pokes clinched the match at court three, after Olivia Lincer battled, but could not overcome No. 58 Lucia Peyre (6-2, 6-4).

With the decision made prior to the match by the coaches, the remaining courts were played out after the Cowgirls clinched.

On her senior day, Saidenova was not going to go down without a fight. Her opponent at court one, the 11th-ranked singles player Anastasiya Komar, took the first set 6-3 and was looking to cruise through the second set. Saidenova buckled down after exchanging holds at the beginning of the set and earned a break to go up 4-3. It was all Saidenova from then on, holding and breaking once more to force a third set in dominant fashion.

As the match was already clinched, the third set consisted of a 10-point tiebreak set. The Saint-Petersburg, Russia, native got out to an early 5-1 jump, before Komar battled back to even the tiebreak at eight. Saidenova did not back down and won the next two points to secure her first top-15 ranked victory for the Knights first point of the afternoon (3-6, 6-3, 1-0 [10-8]).

Moments after, on court four, Jantje Tilbuerger made it look easy in the second set after a battle in the first, winning 7-6(2). Her opponent, No. 68 Safiya Carrington, had not lost since March 2 and has only dropped three singles matches this season. Tilbuerger found her groove in the second set and handily defeated the Cowgirl, 6-2, giving the Knights their second point of the match. The Ganderkeese, Germany, native has extended her unbeaten streak to 11 matches and remains undefeated in conference play.

The final Knight to finish was none other than Kattenberg, who also had been honored in the senior ceremony prior to the match. She faced her first top-100 opponent this season in the 85th-ranked Cowgirl at court five. OSU took the first set, but Kattenberg struck back with a tight 6-4 second set to send it to a 10-point tiebreak. The Florida native dropped just three points in the final tiebreak to seal her home career with a win (2-6, 6-4, 1-0 [10-3]). She extended her unbeaten streak to five matches with the triumph.


The Knights cap off their inaugural Big 12 conference regular season on the road, traveling to Iowa State Friday and Kansas Sunday.

Singles competition

1. Noel Saidenova (UCF) def. #11 Anastasiya Komar (OSUW) 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8)

2. #4 Ange Oby Kajuru (OSUW) def. #123 Sophia Biolay (UCF) 6-0, 6-3

3. #58 Lucia Peyre (OSUW) def. Olivia Lincer (UCF) 6-2, 6-4

4. Jantje Tilbuerger (UCF) def. #63 Safiya Carrington (OSUW) 7-6 (7-2), 6-2

5. Anique Kattenberg (UCF) def. #85 Ayumi Miyamoto (OSUW) 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-3)

6. Kristina Novak (OSUW) def. Donatella Guarnieri (UCF) 6-0, 6-3

Doubles competition

1. #4 Ange Oby Kajuru/Anastasiya Komar (OSUW) def. Noel Saidenova/Anique Kattenberg (UCF) 6-4

2. Jantje Tilbuerger/Sophia Biolay (UCF) vs. Raquel Gonzalez/Ayumi Miyamoto (OSUW) 2-5, unfinished

3. Safiya Carrington/Kristina Novak (OSUW) def. Olivia Lincer/Donatella Guarnieri (UCF) 6-2

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