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GO KNIGHTS Francesc Aulina helped the comeback with his singles win at No. 3.
GO KNIGHTS
Francesc Aulina helped the comeback with his singles win at No. 3.
GO KNIGHTS

March 13, 2014

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By Brian Ormiston
UCFKnights.com

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Trailing 3-0 against No. 27 Penn State, the No. 62 UCF men's tennis team stormed back to tie one of the best teams in the Big Ten at 3-3 before eventually falling in heartbreaking fashion, 4-3. It was just the third loss of the season for the Knights (8-3).

Penn State (12-2) opened up with a pair of doubles victories at No. 1 and No. 3 to take the early 1-0 lead. Matthew Gladstone and Francesc Aulina did lead the Nittany Lions' Chris Young and Michael Reilly at No. 2, 6-3, before the match was halted since the doubles point was determined.

PSU then captured singles victories at the top two spots to open a commanding 3-0 advantage. But UCF started its march, with Reece Acree flying past Marc Collado Castells at No. 6, 6-4, 6-2. Also grabbing a straight-set win, Aulina delivered a 7-6, 7-5, performance at No. 3 against Alex Fennell.

Now trailing 3-2, Inaki Espindola bounced back after dropping the first set to Roman Trkulja at No. 5, 6-3, to take the second set 6-3. In the decisive third set, Espindola pushed his opponent to a tiebreak where he used a second-serve ace to win 7-4, and stun Penn State which only moments ago was sitting comfortably ahead.

When Espindola pulled out his victory to make it 3-3, Chris Barrus was early in the third set against Matt Barry at No. 4. Both players traded breaks to ultimately reach 3-3. With Barrus serving, Barry found a rhythm and seized momentum, winning the next three games to give the visitors the deciding point, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3.

The Knights have little rest to prepare for their next match as they will host UNC Greensboro Friday at 2 p.m.

No. 27 Penn State 4, No. 62 UCF 3
March 13, 2014

Doubles
No. 1 #45 Leonard Stakhovsky/Russell Bader (PSU) def. Amar Hromic/Jesse Flores (UCF) 8-2
No. 2 Matthew Gladstone/Francesc Aulina (UCF) vs. Chris Young/Michael Reilly (PSU) DNF UCF led, 6-3
No. 3 Christian Lutschaunig/David Kohan (PSU) def. Chris Barrus/Inaki Espindola (UCF) 8-2

Singles
No. 1 #47 Leonard Stakhovsky (PSU) def. Matthew Gladstone (UCF) 6-2, 7-5
No. 2 Russell Bader (PSU) def. Amar Hromic (UCF) 6-2, 6-1
No. 3 Francesc Aulina (UCF) def. Alex Fennell (PSU) 7-6, 7-5
No. 4 Matt Barry (PSU) def. Chris Barrus (UCF) 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3
No. 5 Inaki Espindola (UCF) def. Roman Trkulja (PSU) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)
No. 6 Reece Acree (UCF) def. Marc Collado Castells (PSU) 6-4, 6-2
Order of Finish: Doubles 1, 3. Singles 2, 1, 6, 3, 5, 4

 

 

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