No. 18 Kentucky Downs Indiana
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 18 Kentucky men’s tennis team won its eighth match of the season on Friday evening, taking down No. 64 Indiana, 6-1, in front of its home crowd Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
With the win, Kentucky has now won four of its last five matchups. The win over Indiana marks the Wildcats’ third ranked win of the season, adding the Hoosiers win to the resume after defeating No. 13 Duke in January and No. 31 Notre Dame last weekend.
“A good team win overall tonight,” fifth-year head coach Cedric Kauffmann. “Doubles was pretty good. We didn't play great, but we competed well and that's what you want to see as a coach. You want to see how we handle ourselves when we are not playing our best.
“In singles we are playing better as a group. William [Bushamuka] came back that showed a lot of mental toughness. Ryo [Matsumura] is a rock. Nils [Ellefsen] keeps coming up with the goods and he is closing out sets and matches like a great player. Enzo [Wallart] showed a lot of heart and courage at the end of the third set. I was happy for him. Trey [Yates] is catching his stride before sec which is great to see.”
"I was really proud of our guys tonight,” said assistant coach Matt Emery. “We came out again in doubles with a lot of intensity and really took it to them. We still have a lot to little things to clean up, but we really just took care of business in doubles and we are very difficult to beat when we get the doubles point.
"I thought all the guys did an unbelievable job of carrying that momentum into the singles. Things got a little tight in the second sets, but we handled the adversity really well. William did a phenomenal job of righting the ship after a tough first set. He is continuing to prove why he is one of the best players in the country."
After the match, Kentucky now sits at 8-2 on the season. Indiana moves to 4-6 in 2016.
For the second straight match, Kentucky’s tweaked doubles lineup proved beneficial. On the top court, Bushamuka and Ellefsen teamed up to defeat Sam Monette and Daniel Bednarczyk, 6-3. Matsumura and Wallart earned a 6-3 win of their own on the second court against Chris Essick and Stefan Lugonjic. Sophomore Gus Benson and senior Kevin Lai led, 5-4, when the match was discontinued.
In singles, play Ellefsen was the first to close out his opponent, earning a 7-6, 6-4 win over Daniel Bednarczyk. Next to finish was Matsumura. After storming past Raheel Manji, 6-1 in the first set, the rookie showed great composure, rallying from a 2-5 deficit to defeat his opponent, 7-6(3). Bushamuka clinched the match in a top-40 matchup on the top court. The match had to be extended to three sets, as the sophomore rallied for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory over No. 37 Sam Monette for his third ranked win of the season.
Wallart followed Bushamuka with a three-set victory of his own, defeating Matthew McCoy 6-0, 3-6, 7-5. Yates picked up his second singles win in as many matches, toppling Chris Essick in the No. 6 spot, 6-2, 6-4.
“I was really proud of Trey Yates today taking care of business after the match was clinched,” Emery added. “It is great to him playing better each match and taking people out. It is awesome to see his hard work paying off. His work ethic and intensity is one of the keys to our team this year, and I love seeing his game start to click right in time for the SEC season."
Kentucky will return to action with its SEC opener next Friday, Mar. 4, where the Wildcats welcome the Arkansas Razorbacks to Boone Tennis Center. The match is set for a 5 p.m. start.
#18 Kentucky 6, #64 Indiana 1
Singles (Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1, 4, 6, 5)
1. #31 William Bushamuka (UK) def. #37 Sam Monette (IND) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
2. #90 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. Raheel Manji (IND) 6-1, 7-6 (7-3)
3. Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Daniel Bednarczyk (IND) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4
4. Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Matthew McCoy (IND) 6-0, 3-6, 7-5
5. Antonio Cembellin (IND) def. Charles Minc (UK) 7-5, 6-3
6. Trey Yates (UK) def. Chris Essick (IND) 6-2, 6-4
Doubles (Order of Finish: 1, 2)
1. Nils Ellefsen/William Bushamuka (UK) def. Sam Monette/Daniel Bednarczyk (IU) 6-3
2. Ryotaro Matsumura/Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Chris Essick/Stefan Lugonjic (IU) 6-3
3. Gus Benson/Kevin Lai (UK) vs. Afonso Salgado/Raheel Manji (IU) 5-4, unfinished
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.