No. 18 Cats Set to Host Indiana

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After being named the Oracle ITA Big Mover of the Week for the second time this season, the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats will return to action in the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex, facing the Indiana Hoosiers on Friday, Feb. 26, at 6 p.m.

The Wildcats come into Friday’s match with a 2-1 record against Big Ten opponents this season, with the most recent win against the conference coming in UK’s most recent outing. Kentucky upset then-No. 31 Notre Dame with a 4-0 sweep in South Bend, Ind. 

A lineup change in doubles proved beneficial, as Kentucky came out with plenty of energy against the Fighting Irish, kicking the match off with a gritty performance. Freshman duo Ryotaro Matsumura and Enzo Wallart struck first for UK, besting Grayson Broadus and Quentin Monaghan, 6-4. Following the win on the second court, UK’s top duo in William Bushamuka and Nils Ellefsen fell, 6-4, leaving the doubles point in the hands of sophomore Gus Benson and senior Kevin Lai. The duo performed admirably in their first ever match together, locking up the doubles point with a 6-4 win.

UK continued to find success in singles play, with three straight wins to clinch the match in a sweep. First to finish was sophomore Trey Yates on the fifth court, earning a commanding 6-4, 6-2 win over Eric Schnurrenberger. Matsumura followed Yates, defeating Alex Lawson, 7-5, 6-2, on the second court. Junior Nils Ellefsen secured the win on the third court, earning a straight-set victory, 6-4, 6-4 over Eddy Covalschi. 

On Feb. 23, the newest ITA rankings were released, as Kentucky made a 29-spot jump as a team, cracking the top-20 at No. 18. Also, two members of the Kentucky contingent were ranked in singles play. Bushamuka continued his ranked streak, coming in at No. 31 in the country, while Matsumura climbed from unranked to the No. 90 player in the country.

Matsumura’s success didn’t stop with his newfound ranking, as he was then named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week the following day.

UK athletics marketing, in conjunction with the men’s and women’s tennis programs, is excited to announce the launch of The Wildcat Advantage, Kentucky’s new tennis fan club. Members can accumulate points to trade in and receive prizes by signing in at matches they attend for both the men’s and women’s teams. Members will also be signed up for an email group to receive reminders of upcoming tennis matches. Members of The Wildcat Advantage can earn a point by signing in at each tennis match and can earn additional points for signing friends up for the club. Prizes include The Wildcat Advantage t-shirts, Papa John’s pizza coupons, and exclusive tennis experiences throughout the season. 

Indiana enters Friday ranked as the 64th best team in the country. Sam Monette highlights the Hoosiers lineup as the only ranked player on the team, sitting at No. 37 in the latest rankings. 

For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.