UCF men’s tennis takes seventh straight dub against No. 25 Tulane

No. 13 UCF's men's tennis beat No. 25 Tulane at the USTA National Campus on Sunday. The first singles win for UCF came on court No. 4, when junior Kento Yamada beat his opponent, Tulane freshman Fynn Kuenkler, 6-2 6-4.

The No. 13 UCF men’s tennis team extended its winning streak to seven matches with a 5-2 victory over No. 25 Tulane at the USTA National Campus on Sunday.

The victory marks the fourth win of the week for No. 13 UCF after sweeping the War on I-4 series with the win against No. 37 South Florida on Saturday.

Although the Knights pulled through, Sunday's match was a tough one with a lot of competition.

The Knights started the match off with the loss of the first doubles point on court No. 3, when Tulane graduate student Luis Erlenbusch and freshman Fynn Kuenkler beat UCF juniors Alan Rubio and Kento Yamada 6-2. 

UCF did not let Tulane off easy, though. Shortly after, the Knights retaliated on court No. 1 as UCF sophomores Trey Hilderbrand and Bogdan Pavel took the win from Tulane graduate student Ewan Moore and senior Hamish Stewart 6-2.

With a win from each team, the doubles point came down to court No. 2. UCF junior Gabriel Decamps and sophomore Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi battled it out for the win before finally securing the point from Tulane 6-3.

With the Knights in the total score lead of 1-0, the singles matches began. 

The first singles win of the day went to Tulane when Erlenbusch beat Grassi Mazzuchi 6-2 6-3 on court No. 3. 

UCF struck back on court No. 4, however, when Yamada secured the win against Kuenkler 6-2 6-4. 

The last second set win of the day came on court No. 5 in favor of UCF. After entering into a tiebreaker, Hilderbrand took the point from Tulane freshman Billy Suarez 7-5 7-6.

Head coach John Roddick said that he was especially proud of the way Yamada closed out the set and Hilderbrand closed out the breaker.

On courts No. 1 and No. 2, both sides continued to fight hard for the win.

On court No. 2, after Rubio and Moore went back and forth for over two hours, Rubio finally took the victory in the third set, beating his opponent 3-6 6-1 6-4. 

With the total score at 4-1, UCF in the lead, courts No. 1 and No. 6 continued to play for the final points.

On court No. 1, Decamps and Stewart kept a close tally on each other throughout the entire match. Early on, it appeared it would be an easy victory for Decamps, but Stewart did not give up easily. When the score reached 6-3 3-6 6-6, the point came down to a tiebreaker. In a nail-biting final play, Decamps finally secured the win 6-3 3-6 7-6.

Court No. 6 went to Tulane during the final set when junior Mikhail Sokolovskiy was defeated by his opponent 6-2 4-6 3-6.

UCF took home the win with a final total score of 5-2. 

“Hard fought match,” Roddick said after the match. “I mean, the doubles point ended up being pretty important.”

Roddick said that he was proud of the team for their effort and fighting the third sets. 

“We are having different guys come through for us, so these are team wins now at this point,” Roddick said. “Every guy is contributing to these big wins.”

Decamps said that although it was a tough battle, he is proud of the way everyone competed, especially Rubio clinching court No. 2 in singles.

“He really deserves this one,” Decamps said.

Decamps said that he is looking forward to continuing to fight and compete in the matches ahead.

“There are still so many things we can improve,” Decamps said. “I can’t wait to be back grinding with the boys.”

The Knights will be back in action when they compete against North Florida at the USTA National Campus on April 11 at 1 p.m.

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