The UCF men's tennis team swept No. 26 Oklahoma State 4-0 Wednesday night at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, marking the team’s sixth sweep of the season.
The match ended after freshman Bogdan Pavel narrowly defeated Artur Dubinski 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 in his singles match.
“It’s an important win for me, it’s raising my confidence again,” Pavel said. “I had a three-match losing streak. ... But I just fought back and I’m just happy that I managed to come back and get a win for the boys.”
UCF secured the first point of the game after winning two doubles matches in a row. Freshman Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi and sophomore Gabriel Decamps beat Oklahoma State sophomore Matej Vocel and senior Artur Dubinski 6-3 on court two.
Soon after, Pavel and fellow freshman Trey Hilderbrand beat sophomore Maxim Tybar and junior Mathieu Scaglia 7-5 on court one to clinch the doubles point. That left the third doubles match unfinished on court three.
“The doubles point was really good today. Oklahoma State hasn’t lost many doubles points this season,” UCF Director of Tennis John Roddick said. “We’ve been playing very good doubles as well, and I was really pleased in how we played in doubles on all three courts.”
In singles action, two quick wins in the first two sets by UCF helped push the score to 3-0. That gave the Knights a huge advantage in the remaining singles matches.
Sokolovskiy beat Hammond in the first two sets 6-2, 6-3, earning the Knights the first singles point of the match and the second point of the game.
After Sokolovskiy’s win, UCF sophomore Alan Rubio beat Tybar in his singles match 6-2, 6-4 to put the Knights up 3-0.
“Individually, we’re playing more aggressively,” Sokolovskiy said.
The final four singles matches were tight. UCF and Oklahoma State went back and forth, leaving the outcome of the overall match to be decided in the third set on all four courts.
In the end, Pavel defeated Dubinski in their third set to finish a 4-0 sweep for UCF.
A disputed call between Pavel and Dubinski in the middle of the third set put a small delay in the game, which shifted the momentum.
Pavel was down 3-5 in the last set, but after the dispute, he quickly secured wins in four straight games. He said the comeback was due to him keeping a cool head while his opponent crumbled.
Pavel’s win was thanks to the motivation to win the match for his teammates, he said.
“I knew that the guys were trusting me. I couldn’t let them down,” Pavel said. “You’re playing for a team and if you let yourself down, you let the whole team down.”
The Knights charged the court to swarm Pavel after the win. The remaining three singles matches were left unfinished after the Knights secured their win.
The victory improved the Knights' overall record to 10-8.
UCF will next face No. 13 Illinois Friday at noon at the USTA National Campus.
“We’ve gone out and played Miami and Oklahoma State now and had good, solid, convincing wins,” Roddick said. “It’s time to take the next step against a team ranked higher.”