This past week of UCF Knights sports saw one team make program history, another team builds up momentum going into conference play, and another team had a matchup get canceled.
Plus, we name the Knight of the Week and Knight Play of the Week in your Knight Cap for Friday, March 31, 2023.
Baseball Falls at FAU
Final— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) March 29, 2023
On Tuesday night, the UCF Baseball team fell to the Florida Atlantic Owls for the second time this season, 4-2.
This time, the loss came on the road in Boca Raton.
The Knights got the lead initially with a pair of RBI singles from 1B Nick Romano and SS Drew Faurot in the 1st inning. However, the Owls would tie it up with an RBI Sacrifice fly and an RBI single of their own in the 5th inning. That was followed by another RBI single in the 6th inning to take the lead.
Despite outhitting the Owls 10-6, UCF committed 4 errors on the night which culminated in 2 unearned runs. Combined with the game at John Euliano Park back in February, the Knights have committed 9 of their errors this season, 26% of them, against FAU.
Dominic Castellano was credited with the loss in relief, allowing 4 of the Owls’ 6 hits and 2 runs, 1 of which was earned.
The team will look to rebound as it begins conference play with the War on I-4 this weekend, starting with Game 1 at 6 p.m. on Friday.
Knights Invite Helps Propel UCF to Top 3
The UCF Track and Field team hosted its second and final home meet of the outdoor season last weekend in the Knights Invite.
Highlights from the meet:
- Senior Jasmine Scott Kilgo broke the program record in the Triple Jump that has stood for 14 years with a 13.29-meter best jump to win the event. It stands as the 2nd-longest Triple Jump in the nation so far this season.
- Junior Adrienne Adams broke her own program record again in the Discus Throw with a 57.56-meter best throw. It stands as the 3rd-longest discus throw in the nation so far this season. She also earned AAC Field Athlete of the Week honors for the 2nd week in a row.
- Sophomore Asherah Collins took the win in the Long Jump with a 6.34-meter best jump, a new personal best that puts her in 5th in program history in the event.
- Junior Latasha Smith took gold with a 52.70-second 400-meter dash, the 2nd-fastest in the nation so far this season. As a result, she took AAC Track Athlete of the week honors.
- Knights runners took 6 of the Top 7 spots in the 100-meter dash and swept the Top 6 in the 200-meter dash, the latter of which included a 5th-place finish from junior Rayniah Jones.
- Jones took gold in her first 100-meter hurdles of the season with a 13.41-second time that ranked her 18th-fastest in the nation so far this season.
- Stay tuned for Knight of the Week.
Thanks to the team’s high marks over the first two weeks of the outdoor season, it was placed at No. 3 in the nation by the USTFCCCA, the highest ranking in program history.
Here are the top-5 teams in Week 1 of the @NCAATrackField DI Women's Outdoor National Rating Index for the 2023 season!— USTFCCCA (@USTFCCCA) March 28, 2023
CHECK OUT THE REST!https://t.co/USf6X7sryg pic.twitter.com/15rZZQqLJl
Men’s Tennis Ends Non-Conference Play with a Bang
The UCF Men’s Tennis ended non-conference play with a bang and carried that momentum back to conference play last weekend.
Four team members went unbeaten in singles play across both matches, including freshman Yassine Dlimi who has gone 6-2 in his last 10 singles-play matches.
The win propelled UCF 6 spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings to No. 51 in the nation, one spot behind fellow AAC member SMU.
Conference play continues this weekend as the team travels to Tennessee to take on No. 38-ranked Memphis on Sunday at 1 p.m. before returning home to the USTA National Campus to face No. 43-ranked Tulane at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Women’s Tennis Drops Two on Road Trip
Clemson will take this one 4-3— UCF Women's Tennis (@UCF_WTennis) March 25, 2023
The UCF Women’s Tennis team came up short against a couple of Top 35-ranked opponents on the road last weekend.
UCF went into its matchup against the Yellow Jackets handicapped. The Knights did not have a 3rd doubles-play pair or a 6th singles-play player, which had a hand in putting them down 2-0 early on.
However, the Knights were able to push Georgia Tech back against the wall with help from wins by redshirt senior Nandini Sharma against No. 65-ranked Mahak Jain (6-3, 6-1) and junior Jaleesa Leslie over No. 105-ranked Alejandra Cruz (7-6 (7-3), 1-6, 6-2).
Senior Marie Mattel did not play against the Yellow Jackets after retiring from her singles-play match against NC State 6 days prior. She did return for the Knights’ match against Clemson, but she retired from that match just shy of finishing the 1st set.
Freshman Stefani Webb also retired from her singles play just shy of finishing the 1st set, 6-5.
The losses caused the team to slide 8 spots in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings to No. 32 in the nation.
Due to an “insufficient number of available players,” the Knights’ initial matchup with Tulane, slated for Monday, has been canceled. So, instead, the Knights will conclude non-conference play on Wednesday at 1 p.m. by hosting Bethune-Cookman.
Schedule update: the match against Tulane, originally scheduled for Monday, April 3, has been cancelled. The teams will work to reschedule the match, but a makeup is not imminent. https://t.co/Ph5HVm8Pbt— UCF Women's Tennis (@UCF_WTennis) March 31, 2023
UCF Women’s Golfer Plays Augusta National
Good luck to Jess! She will tee off at 9:44am in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur pic.twitter.com/aYwIophVdk— UCF Women's Golf (@UCF_WGolf) March 29, 2023
Junior Jess Baker had the opportunity to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur this week in Georgia.
Baker received an exemption for the tournament after winning The Women’s Amateur in England over the summer.
While she started the tournament with 72 other golfers, a 76 (+4) first round and a 74 (+2) 2nd round placed her at six over par for the tournament, four strokes below the two over par cutline.
While Baker is in Augusta, the rest of the UCF Women’s Golf team is in Ardmore, Oklahoma for its final regular-season tournament, The Bruzzy. The action begins with an 8:30 a.m. tee time on Saturday.
Knight of the Week
Beyonce Defreitas, Track and Field
Defreitas, a junior, took 1st place in two events in the Knights Invite, setting new personal bests in both.
Her 11.39-second 100-meter dash time ranked brought her up to 7th in program history in the event and is the 16th-fastest in the nation so far this season.