UCF 4, Penn State 2
WHAT A MATCH!
Brian Ormiston | March 8, 2017
Penn State held a commanding lead during College MatchDay at the USTA National Campus March 8, but UCF did not go away.
The Nittany Lions were up 2-0 on the Knights and were up a set in three of the remaining four singles matches. However, the hometown school battled back to stun Penn State, 4-2, in front of 572 fans in Orlando.
“It was a great atmosphere,” said UCF head coach John Roddick. “Our guys at UCF are not used to playing in front of this, so I think it took a little while to settle in. But we kept competing. We talk about even if you’re losing and you’re down, to keep making it tough and keep trying to hold serve. With no-ad (scoring) you’re going to get a break point in college tennis. This isn’t the tour where the guys are just going to suffocate you and maybe you don’t even get a look. If you keep fighting, odds are you’re going to get a look. We did it, we believed and we took advantage when we started getting some looks. Then we started playing a lot more confident.
“There’s a big difference in our level from start to finish. We know the level we are capable of playing at and we’d like to play at that level (for each match). It was a good job of turning around.”
UCF enjoyed the pre-match festivities with an exclusive Golden Knights Club party for donors, while Knights and Nittany Lions supporters experienced live music, food, school-inspired drinks, games and much more.
Once it was time for first serve, Penn State took control with doubles wins at the No. 1 and No. 3 positions for a 1-0 overall team lead.
The Nittany Lions (7-5) doubled their lead on the Knights (8-4) when Christos Antonopoulos defeated Chris Barris on singles court No. 3, 6-2, 6-1. That was when the comeback got underway. At No. 1, Korey Lovett earned a straight-sets victory over Constant De La Bassetiere, 6-3, 6-4, and the remaining four matches entered third sets.
After dropping the first set, 7-5, Harrison Richmond tied it up at 2-2 with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 triumph against Christian Lakoseljac at the No. 2 position. UCF secured its first lead thanks to Danny Kerznerman topping Aws Laaribi at No. 4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
The final team point of the day was registered by a student-athlete who was not in the singles lineup when the day began. Kalman Boyd moved into the No. 6 spot for UCF following doubles play, and he did not let his team down, grinding out a 3-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory versus Gabriel Nemeth, setting off a huge celebration for the Knights.
Before the two schools clashed on the tennis court, they came together to donate their time at Nemours Children’s Hospital on March 7. The Knights and Nittany Lions spent time teaching youngsters the game of tennis, bringing smiles to so many faces along the way. View the video below for highlights of the trip.
The state of Florida will be represented again in the final two College MatchDay events of the year at the USTA National Campus. Up next will be one of the biggest rivalries in college sports, with Florida and Florida State clashing on the men’s side on Friday, March 10, at 6 p.m. The women will close out the schedule when No. 1 Florida faces off with No. 3 Ohio State on Tuesday, March 14, at 6 p.m.
Festivities always begin at 4 p.m., and the free kids’ clinic gets underway at 4:45 p.m. RSVP for free admission to all College MatchDay events by visiting CollegeMatchDay2017.com.
All matches air on ESPN3 through WatchESPN and the ESPN app.
No. 1 Constant De La Bassetiere / Christian Lakoseljac (PSU) def. Mariano Porter / Harrison Richmond (UCF) 6-4
No. 2 Korey Lovett / Danny Kerznerman (UCF) vs. Henry Gordon / Nika Dolidze (PSU) 5-4 (unfinished)
No. 3 David Kohan / Christos Antonopoulos (PSU) def. Enrique Paya / Chris Barrus (UCF) 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1
No. 1 Korey Lovett (UCF) def. Constant De La Bassetiere (PSU) 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 Harrison Richmond (UCF) def. Christian Lakoseljac (PSU) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
No. 3 Christos Antonopoulos (PSU) def. Chris Barrus (UCF) 6-2, 6-1
No. 4 Danny Kerznerman (UCF) def. Aws Laaribi (PSU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
No. 5 Mariano Porter (UCF) vs. Marc Collado (PSU) 2-6, 6-4, 5-5 (unfinished)
No. 6 Kalman Boyd (UCF) def. Gabriel Nemeth (PSU) 3-6, 7-6, 6-4
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 6
2017 College MatchDay Series at the USTA National Campus
Jan. 21 – Michigan 4, Alabama 0 (men)
Feb. 3 – North Carolina 4, Texas Tech 0 (women)
Feb. 17 – Stanford 4, Oklahoma State 1 (women)
March 8 – UCF 4, Penn State 2 (men)
March 10 – Florida State vs. Florida (men) – 6 p.m.
March 14 – Ohio State vs. Florida (women) – 6 p.m.