Loralei Gonzalez | Contributing Writer
The FIU Panthers fought hard but came up short against the No. 21 UCF Knights 4-2, on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the USTA National Campus.
In doubles, freshman Yasmine Kabbaj and Oyinlomo Quadre won their No. 2 position and gave the Panthers an early advantage. However, a pair of crucial losses let the Knights finish strong and regain the upper hand heading into singles.
During singles, UCF led 3-0 after Kabbaj and graduate Kamila Umarova slipped up in their individual matchups. Freshman Katerina Mandelikova gave FIU hope with her victory over UCF’s Sophia Bolay and Quadre also scratched out a win against UCF’s Noel Saidenova.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, junior Salma Loudili came up short against Nandini Sharma in three sets in No. 6 singles, 2-6, 7-5, 4-6. This resulted in freshman Ekaterina Khairutdinova’s No. 2 singles match being left unfinished as the Knights headed home with a victory. FIU’s current record stands at 3-2.
The Panthers will remain in Orlando for their next matchup on Thursday, Feb. 16 versus the Air Force. The match is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
- #48 Marie Mattel (UCF) def. Yasmine Kabbaj (FIU) 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
- Jantje Tilbuerger (UCF) vs. E. Khairutdinova (FIU) 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (6-8), unfinished 3. Stefani Webb (UCF) def. Kamila Umarova (FIU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
- Oyinlomo Quadre (FIU) def. Noel Saidenova (UCF) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
- Katerina Mandelikova (FIU) def. Sophia Biolay (UCF) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
- Nandini Sharma (UCF) def. Salma Loudili (FIU) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
Order of Finish: 1, 3, 5, 4, 6
- Marie Mattel/Noel Saidenova (UCF) def. #44 E. Khairutdinova/Kamila Umarova (FIU) 6-4
- Yasmine Kabbaj/Oyinlomo Quadre (FIU) def. Jantje Tilbuerger/Stefani Webb (UCF) 5-2
- Sophia Biolay/Nandini Sharma (UCF) def. Salma Loudili/Katerina Mandelikova (FIU) 6-1
Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1