Down to the Wire
UCF stuns No. 18 Florida in a memorable MatchDay event.
Brian Ormiston | February 24, 2019
Florida entered the evening with a 12-0 overall record against UCF, yet that streak came to an end during College MatchDay at the USTA National Campus on Feb. 24. The Knights delivered a 4-3 victory over the No. 18 Gators in front of a packed house at the Collegiate Center.
“I’m so excited for this team,” said UCF head coach Bryan Koniecko. “We put them to practice so much; they stay here in the summer and spend 11 months a year with us. It’s nice to see it finally pay off with days like today.
“What the USTA does, it’s a ridiculous event to make a sport like tennis feel like it’s basketball or football for our players. It’s incredible. It’s something they’ll never experience again unless you’re able to play at Arthur Ashe Stadium someday.”
Doubles got the hearts pumping early, where Florida (3-4) and UCF (9-2) split the first two results. The doubles point came down to the No. 2 position, where Tsveta Dimitrova and Ida Jarlskog clinched the 1-0 lead for the Gators with a 6-3 victory.
Singles proved to be highly contested when each team won three first sets. UCF ultimately picked up a pair of wins but Florida responded right away. Now tied up at 2-2, the Knights went up again only to witness the Gators tie it one more time, at 3-3. The match came down to the No. 6 position, where Florida’s Anastasia Kharitonova was serving at 5-4 in the third, but UCF’s Nandini Sharma fought back for the 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 win to start the Knights’ celebration.
The College MatchDay season wraps up on Sunday, March 3, when the men of UCF and Miami (Fla.) take the stage for a 5 p.m. tussle live on Tennis Channel.
For College MatchDay ticket information, click on Ticketmaster.com.
Women – UCF def. No. 18 Florida, 4-3
No. 1 Ksenia Kuznetsova / Valeriya Zeleva (UCF) def. Victoria Emma / McCartney Kessler (UF), 6-4
No. 2 Tsveta Dimitrova / Ida Jarlskog (UF) def. Marie Mattel / Rebeka Stolmar (UCF), 6-3
No. 3 Anastasia Kharitonova / Marlee Zein (UF) def. Natalia Serrano / Nandini Sharma (UCF), 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2
No. 1 Ida Jarlskog (UF) def. Valeriya Zeleva (UCF), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
No. 2 Ksenia Kuznetsova (UCF) def. McCartney Kessler (UF), 6-2, 7-6
No. 3 Rebeka Stolmar (UCF) def. Marlee Zein (UF), 6-4, 6-1
No. 4 Victoria Emma (UF) def. Marie Mattel (UCF), 6-4, 6-2
No. 5 Natalia Serrano (UCF) def. Tsveta Dimitrova (UF), 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 Nandini Sharma (UCF) def. Anastasia Kharitonova (UF), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Order of Finish: 5, 3, 4, 2, 1, 6
2019 College MatchDay
Feb. 2 – Florida def. Florida State (Men), 4-1
Feb. 9 – Tennessee def. Duke (Men), 4-0
Feb. 16 – Air Force def. Army (Men), 4-2 – Air Force def. Army (Women), 4-3
Feb. 24 – UCF def. Florida (Women), 4-3
March 3 – Miami, Fla. vs. UCF (Men) – 5 p.m.
*All Times Eastern and Subject to Change