Kentucky Goes 9-0 on Day One of ITA Regional Championships
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Kentucky men’s tennis team picked up nine wins on day one of the 2016 ITA Regional Championships on the campus of the University of Tennessee. Senior Nils Ellefsen, junior Trey Yates, sophomore Enzo Wallart and senior Beck Pennington all picked up two wins today to advance to the third round. The Wildcats did not drop a set during competition.
“To go 9-0 on opening day of an ITA Regional event as difficult as this one is not easy to do,” assistant coach Matt Emery said. “I was happy with the wins, but I was even more pleased with the way we won. The guys did a great job of competing every point, taking nothing for granted and taking care of business. As a coach, it is great to see them playing with this type of confidence.”
Pennington defeated Diego Nunez of East Tennessee State, 6-2, 6-1, and Guille Nicolas of Tennesse Tech, 7-5, 6-1 to advance to the second day of the regional. He will face Tom Moonen of Middle Tennessee State on Friday at 2 p.m.
“It was great to see Beck get back to his winning ways,” Emery said. “He was one of the best players in the country a year ago before his injury and he is back to at least that form and only getting better.”
Yates took down Ramon Van Flymen of Eastern Kentucky, 7-5, 6-3, and Mason Dragos of Butler, 6-2, 6-1 to advance to day two. Ellefsen will take on Nicolas Rouanet of Dayton on Friday at 1:00 p.m
Ellefsen defeated Matt Bishop of Xavier, 6-2, 6-3 and Guillem Sanchis of Eastern Kentucky, 6-2, 6-1 to move on to the round of 32. The Oslo, Norway native will face Gonzalo Morell of EKU on Friday at 1 p.m.
Wallart also picked up two wins on Thursday. Wallart pushed past Lucas Andersen of Ball State 6-2, 6-2 and Carsten Fisher 6-1, 7-5 of Dayton to get to the third round of the regional. The Windermere, Florida native will face No. 93 Eduardo Mena of Tennessee Tech on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
The pairings of Ellefsen/Yates and Pennington/Wallart are competing in the doubles bracket of the regional. Ellefsen/Yates took down Wright State’s Jason Holloway and Jacob Perkins 8-1 to advance to the second round. Ellefsen/Yates will take on Christopher Kougoucheff and Parker Wynn of Louisville on Friday at 8 a.m. Pennington/Wallart earned a bye and will face Max Grobbelaar and Michael Brinbau, on Friday at 8 a.m.
The ITA Regional Championships features some of the top men's and women's players across the country. Over 8,000 student-athletes from NCAA I, II, III, NAIA, Junior and Community Colleges compete across 85 ITA Regional Championships around the country. The winners of each draw will receive berths to the ITA National Indoor Championships on Feb. 17-20 hosted by the University of Virginia.