The UCF men’s tennis team topped Illinois State, 5-2, Sunday morning in the Knights’ regular-season home finale. After the Redbirds took the doubles point to start the day at the UCF Tennis Complex, UCF recovered to claim five of six singles matches.
Jorge Blasco, Erik Brunskog, Mario Samson and Joe Delinks all rolled to quick singles wins for the Knights (8-10). Brunskog had little trouble with Skip Span, winning 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2. Facing Jordan Badenko at No. 6, Delinks won 6-2, 6-4. Blasco handled Alexander Pelaez (6-4, 6-2) at the top spot.
Against Willi Peter at No. 5, Samson was a 6-1, 7-6 winner. Juan Bolona also recorded a singles win as he held on for a 6-2, 6-7, 10-7 triumph over Jusso Ojanen at No. 4.
Prior to the match, Delinks and fellow senior Eugene Dolgovykh were honored for their four-year contributions to the program. Illinois State fell to 5-10 on the year with the loss.
“It was good for us to get a win, especially since it was Senior Day, but we also need to start playing a complete match,” UCF head coach Bobby Cashman said. “Our doubles played flat today. We did do a good job in our first sets in singles to gain the momentum of the match, but did not take control early in the second sets. I am glad we were able to close them out, but we need to take control early in the second sets. We need to play with more fire in the coming weeks to be prepared for the conference tournament approaching in our own backyard.”
The Knights will play at home again this season as the program is slated to host the Conference USA Championship starting April 19.
UCF has three regular-season contests remaining, all away from home. The stretch starts Friday in Oklahoma at Oral Roberts.
UCF 5, Illinois State 2
1. Pelaez/Manner (ISU) def. Thams/Delinks (UCF) 8-5
2. Brunskog/Bolona (UCF) def. Span/Ojanen (ISU) 8-6
3. Peter/Badenko (ISU) def. Gladstone/Dolgovykh (UCF) 8-1
1. Blasco (UCF) def. Pelaez (ISU) 6-4; 6-2
2. Brunskog (UCF) def. Span (ISU) 6-1; 6-2
3. Manner (ISU) def. Thams (UCF) 0-6; 6-1; 6-4
4. Bolona (UCF) def. Ojanen (ISU) 6-3; 6-7; 10-7
5. Samson (UCF) def. Peter (ISU) 6-1; 7-6
6. Delinks (UCF) def. Badenko (ISU) 6-2; 6-4