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Knight Cap: Dual-Match Tennis Season Underway

Plus: Track and Field makes first out-of-state road trip

UCF’s Lleyton Cronje celebrates a point vs. Georgia Southern
Noah Goldberg

This past week of UCF Knights saw two teams’ spring seasons get underway and another team makes its first out-of-state road trip.

Plus, we name the Knight of the Week in your Knight Cap for Thursday, January 26, 2023.

Track and Field Divides and Conquers

The UCF Track and Field team was split across two meets last weekend.

The sprinters traveled to Lubbock, Texas to visit one of their future Big 12 conference mates, Texas Tech, for the Red Raider Invitational.

While there, seniors Daija Lampkin and Beyonce Defreitas finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in the 200-meter dash. Additionally, junior Kiah Williams took home the bronze with the 3rd-fastest indoor 400-meter dash in program history with a 53.61 time.

As for the rest of the team, it was in Nashville, Tennessee competing in the Vanderbilt Invite.

Amongst the notable finishes, there were:

  • Senior Jasmine Scott-Kilgo finished in 3rd place with a 6.14-meter best jump, which is not only a new collegiate best for her but also the 3rd-longest indoor long jump in program history.
  • Sophomore Asherah Collins took home the runner-up spot in the Triple Jump with a 12.93-meter best jump, the 3rd-longest indoor triple jump in program history.
  • Sophomore Natalia Madison earned the 2nd-highest pentathlon score in school history with 3,704 points, netting her a 5th-place finish for the event.

The full results for both meets can be viewed on Prime Time Timing.

The team will make a return trip to Gainesville to compete in the Alachua County Collegiate Invite on Thursday and Friday.

Men’s Tennis Splits Opening Weekend

The UCF Men’s Tennis team took a loss to open its season, but ended its first weekend at .500.

The Knights opened the season on Saturday with a 6-1 loss to No. 17-ranked Florida, then picked up a 5-2 victory over Georgia Southern the next day.

Senior Bogdan Pavel was the only Knight that went undefeated on the weekend. Both of his doubles matches went unfinished, but he got UCF’s lone point against the Gators and was the first one to win a singles-play match over Georgia Southern.

The Knights will have another test against a ranked team this weekend as they travel to Columbus, Ohio for ITA Kickoff Weekend. On Saturday, they will face No. 2-ranked Ohio State. The next day, they will play either Oregon or fellow AAC team Tulsa.

Women’s Tennis Serves Up Season-Opening Win

The UCF Women’s Tennis team began its dual-match season on Saturday with a victory over Stetson, 4-3.

After going 0-3 together during the 2022 season, senior Marie Mattel and sophomore Noel Saidenova picked up their first victory as a doubles pair by sweeping their Hatter counterparts, 6-0.

Meanwhile, Mattel, sophomore Sophia Biolay, and redshirt senior Nandini Sharma took home their first singles-play wins of the season.

Thanks to this victory, UCF remains ranked No. 23 in the ITA Coaches Poll.

The Knights will be traveling to Auburn, Alabama this weekend for ITA Kickoff Weekend. They will face No. 19-ranked Arizona State on Saturday at 4 p.m. and either UC Santa Barbara or No. 15-ranked Auburn the next day.

Women’s Basketball Thumped by USF

The UCF Women’s Basketball team suffered its fourth loss by 30+ points this season on the road at the hands of South Florida on Sunday.

Only forward Anzhané Hutton, who led the Knights with 16 points, guard Rachel Ranke, and forward Bryana Hardy converted more than one field goal in the game.

UCF (10-8, 1-5 AAC) was not able to keep up with three of the top four scorers in the AAC, all of which were on the Bulls.

The team travels to take on Temple at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Knight of the Week

Stefani Webb, Women’s Tennis

Twelve hours after the UCF Women’s Tennis team began its dual match against Stetson, one of its newest additions shocked the tennis world in Australia.

On Saturday, true freshman Stefani Webb was competing in the Australian Open Girls Singles Tournament and stunned No. 1-seed Sara Saito of Japan to move on to the 2nd round (6-3, 1-6, 6-2).

Though Webb would be eliminated in her second-round singles match at the hands of Germany’s Sonja Zhiyenbayeva (4-6, 6-4, 4-6), she made it further in the doubles tournament. Competing alongside fellow Aussie Rosin Gilheany, Webb advanced to the quarterfinals before she got eliminated by Saito and her partner, Hayu Kinoshita (6-2, 2-6 (8-10)).

With her Aussie Open run now over, Webb will soon return stateside to make her collegiate debut.