The UCF Knights Men’s Tennis team have finally broken their conference title drought.
The Knights swept USF in short order on Saturday at the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, winning their first conference title of the John Roddick era, and the first conference crown of any kind since 2005.
It was a long road to this title for Roddick and his players, who were in the conference final for the third time in four years, but had lost each time before.
UCF won the doubles point to start the match despite Gabe Decamps and Juan Pablo Grassi Mazzuchi losing on Court #2. Alan Rubio and Kento Yamada clinched it with a 6-3 win on Court #3:
In singles, UCF wrapped up the trophy with straight-set victories by Mikhail Sokolovskiy, Mazzuchi, and Trey Hilderbrand. Hilderbrand clinched it and the celebration was on:
Gabe Decamps, the 7th-ranked player in the nation, struggled again out of the gate in singles on Court #1, but recovered from a 5-3 deficit in the first set to win 7-5. His match went unfinished when UCF clinched the title.
The victory gives UCF, currently 11th in the ITA team rankings, an inside track for potentially hosting all the way through to the NCAA final, if necessary. The NCAA Tournament’s first two rounds will be at predetermined sites, which will be announced at the Selection Show on May 3rd. The USTA National Campus will host from the third round on, starting May 16th. That will include the team championships as well as the entire singles and doubles tournaments.
It’s also a particularly sweet win for Roddick, who has developed UCF into an unquestioned national contender:
The run for Knights Tennis didn’t stop with Saturday, though. The women’s team plays Tulsa for a conference title at 11 a.m. ET at Lake Nona. That match will be televised on ESPN+.