The UCF Knights Women’s Tennis team won its first-ever American Athletic Conference championship on Easter Sunday, defeating South Florida 4-0 at the USTA Tennis Center in Lake Nona.
UCF never lost a single match in the entire tournament, going a perfect 12-0 en route to its first AAC Women’s Tennis title and first conference title of any kind since they won the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2002.
The clinching point came from Ksenia Kuznetsova on Court #2, as she finished off Vanja Vrankovic for the clinching point in straight sets:
Full match highlights:
Head coach Bryan Koniecko spoke to Hali Oughton after the match:
UCF’s Valeriya Zeleva was named Most Outstanding Player, and also shared a moment with Hali afterwards:
The Knights are now 22-3, undefeated in The American, and ranked 25th in the ITA national rankings.
Men’s Tennis comes up just short in AAC Championship
Their counterparts on the men’s side went the distance against South Florida but could not pull out a victory, falling 4-3 later the same day.
It came down to a third and deciding set on the final court, with South Florida’s Chase Ferguson providing the winning point in a 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 victory:
It was a tough break for UCF, as the Knights were up 2-0 early and looking to end South Florida’s run of four titles in the last five seasons in the American, but it was not to be.
Still though, while the Knights’ 15-10 record may not look very impressive, they’ve played 16 of their matches against 15 teams ranked in the latest ITA Top 50 (going 6-10), and had won 7 of their last 8 before being upset in the AAC Championship. UCF had also beaten South Florida 4-0 once already this year, just a week prior to the AAC Final.
UCF is 28th in the latest ITA rankings, with a new set of data due to come out Tuesday (South Florida was 46th), and the Knights are projected to be in the Field of 64 by SLAM Magazine’s latest bracketology come Selection Show time.
Next Stop: Lake Nona?
Both teams now await the NCAA Tennis Selection Show, which will be Monday, April 29th. The Men’s Championship Bracket will be revealed at 6 p.m. ET with the women 30 minutes later.
The NCAA Tennis Championships will be held May 16-25 at UCF’s home facility, the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona.
The event kicks off with the team quarterfinals (Round of 8), going through to the team finals on Sunday, May 19th. Then the singles and doubles tournaments begin on Monday, May 20th and Tuesday, May 21st, respectively, with both the Men’s and Women’s Singles Finals finishing up on Saturday, May 25th. All events in Lake Nona will be broadcast live on the Tennis Channel.