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Knight Cap: NCAA Selections

The postseason inches closer for several UCF sports

Noah Goldberg

The week of UCF Knights sports saw four teams compete in their final American Athletic Conference tournaments, while two other teams’ spring seasons continue along.

Plus, we name the Knight of the Week and Knights Play of the Week in your Knight Cap for Friday, May 5, 2023.

Women’s Golf Stays in Florida for NCAA Regional

The #19 UCF Women’s Golf team will not have to go far for its NCAA Regional.

The Knights were selected as the #4 seed in the Palm Beach Gardens Regional, which is hosted by Florida Atlantic at the PGA National Resort on May 8-10.

This is the fourth consecutive season (excluding the shortened COVID season) that UCF has made it to an NCAA Regional. The Knights will be joined by #1-seed LSU, #2-seed Texas, #3-seed Northwestern, #5-seed Duke, #6-seed Michigan State, #7-seed California, #8-seed Arkansas, #9-seed Alabama, #10-seed South Florida, #11-seed Penn, and #12-seed Quinnipac in Palm Beach Gardens.

The selection comes on the heels of the team’s runner-up performance at the American Athletic Conference Championship, led by junior Jess Baker who took third place with a 210 (6-under).

Baker was one of four Knights who was named to the AAC’s All-Conference team on Wednesday, alongside senior Tunrada Piddon, graduate student Anna Nordfors, and freshman Pimpisa “Sandwich” Sisutham.

Women’s Tennis Heading to Gainesville for NCAA First Round

The UCF Women’s Tennis team will travel to Gainesville for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002 this weekend.

The #38 Knights will face #17 Georgia Tech on Friday at 11 a.m. for their first round matchup. It will be a rematch of a regular-season matchup on March 23 that saw UCF, despite only having five players for the match due to injuries, only fall 4-3.

It will be the team’s fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance (COVID year excluded), all under head coach Bryan Koniecko.

Should the Knights win on Friday, they will have a second-round matchup at 2 p.m. on Saturday against the winner of host and #16 Florida and #75 North Florida.

Additionally, senior Marie Mattel was selected to compete in the NCAA Women’s Tennis Singles Championship for the second consecutive season. Last year, she was eliminated in the first round, but this time around the event will be held on her home court at the USTA National Campus starting on May 22.

Carrera and Travale Selected to NCAA Men’s Golf Regional

While the UCF Men’s Golf team did not get selected for an NCAA Regional, two of its members did get selected as individuals on Wednesday.

Fifth-year seniors Luis Carrera and Johnny Travale, who were both selected to the American Athletic Conference All-Conference team earlier in the week, will take the course in the Salem, North Carolina Regional on May 15-17.

This will be Travale’s third consecutive year playing in an NCAA Regional after getting selected as an individual in 2021 and playing with the Knights as a team in the regional last year.

Pavel and Cronje Selected For Men’s Doubles Championship

UCF Men’s Tennis team seniors Bogdan Pavel and Lleyton Cronje were selected to the NCAA Men’s Tennis Doubles Tournament on Tuesday.

This will be Pavel’s third time competing in the tournament, but it is the first time it will be without his former doubles partner Trey Hilderbrand.

The tournament will be held at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, the duo’s home court starting on May 23.

Track and Field caps off regular season in Jacksonville

The UCF Track and Field team concluded its regular-season last weekend at the East Coast Relays in Jacksonville.

Highlights from the meet include:

  • Rayniah Jones took silver in the 100-meter hurdles and 4th place in the 100-meter dash (For more, see Knight of the Week).
  • Adrienne Adams took the gold in the discus throw (55.80-meter best throw).
  • Leiya Green took bronze in the long jump with a 6.05-meter best jump, which ties her for 10th-place in the event in program history.
  • Mariana Rodriguez’s 4:26.94 time in the 1500-meter run moves her to 4th all-time in the event in program history. She took 5th-place in the event with that time.
  • Beyonce Defreitas taking 5th-place in the 100-meter dash (11.23 seconds).
  • Daija Lampkin finishing 4th in the 200-meter dash (23.29 seconds).

The team slid back four sports, but still remain in the Top 20 of the USTFCCCA’s rankings at #20. The team will now vie for its 4th consecutive American Athletic Conference title in the AAC Outdoor Championship in Tampa from May 12-14.

Rowing finishes regular season in Oregon

The UCF Rowing team completed its regular season at Dexter Lake in Lowell, Oregon last weekend.

The second Varsity Four boat took home the team’s best finish of the day with a second-place in its second race.

The team will travel to Oak Ridge, Tennessee for its final American Athletic Conference Championship on May 14.

Knight of the Week

Rayniah Jones, Track and Field

It’s been just under two years, but Rayniah Jones has beaten her former personal best in the 100-meter hurdles set at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials and lowered the program record in the event with a 12.63-second time at the East Coast Relays. Jones now holds the 4th-fastest 100-meter hurdle time in the nation.

Jones followed this up with an 11.17-second time in the 100-meter dash, which is also a new personal best for her. She also becomes the 4th athlete in program history to run a sub-11.20-second time, joining teammate Beyonce Defreitas.

Knights Play of the Week

LF Lex Boedicker hits his 3rd homer night to break the single-game team home-run record