Underclassmen Lead Wildcats at SEC Indoor Tournament
Jan. 16, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Four University of Kentucky men's tennis underclassmen advanced to the second round of the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Indoor Championships hosted by the Wildcats at Boone Tennis Center and the Lexington Tennis Club Friday.
UK freshman Graeme Dyce opened the day with a 7-6(4), 6-3 over Borja Malo of Georgia. Fellow first-year Wildcat Alex Musialek also won in straight sets over Florida's Jon Hamui 6-2, 7-6(9) to the final 32.
Sophomore Will Beck won a marathon match against Alabama's Yassine Houssam going three full sets. Beck fell in the first set, 6-4 before rallying in a tight second-set tiebereak to clinch the second 7-6(5). In the deciding set, Beck edged Houssam 6-4 to take the match.
Classmate Brad Cox dropped the first set to LSU's Sebastien Carlsson 6-4, but bounced back in the second to even the match at one set apiece with a 6-3 decision. In the final set, Cox overwhelmed the Tiger 6-2 for the victory.
No. 5 seed Eric Quigley will debut in singles action Saturday after receiving a bye into the second round. The UK freshman is currently ranked 37th in the nation.
In other first round matches, sophomore Alberto Gonzalez fell in three sets to Tennessee's Davey Sandgren 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-2. Earlier in the day senior captain Shane Collins also lost a three-setter to Florida's Dan Cash 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-1. LSU's Julien Gauthier got the better of junior Alex Lambropoulos 6-3, 6-4.
It was a rough day for the Wildcats on the doubles court.
After a brilliant come-from-behind effort in an early morning first-round match by Gonzalez and Musialek over Georgia's Malo and Alex Hill, 9-7, Kentucky tandems struggled against tough competition in the round of 16.
The top seeded team of Berg and ten Berge from Ole Miss defeated UK duo Beck and Lambropoulos 8-4. Florida's Hamui and Dadamo defeated Cox and Collins 8-5. Georgia's Bernstein and Garrapiz got the better of Dyce and Quigley, 8-4. Gonzalez and Musialek could not carry their momentum through to the second round against third-seeded Skupski and Venus of LSU, falling 8-1.
UK senior Bruno Agostinelli, ranked fourth in the nation, will not play in this weekend's tournament as a precautionary measure to recover from a right groin strain sustained last week in Hawaii, Kentucky head coach Dennis Emery said. The UK coach expects Agostinelli to be ready for the dual-meet season on Sat. Jan. 24.
Participating players will represent eight conference programs ranked among the top 56 in the nation. The host Wildcats rank 36th nationally. Defending back-to-back national team champion Georgia is ranked third. Three other SEC schools rank in the top 10: No. 8 Tennessee, No. 9 Ole Miss and No. 10 Florida. The No. 19 Tigers of LSU, No. 23 Alabama and No. 56 Mississippi State round out the tournament field this weekend.
Consolation doubles action begins at 8:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Boone to begin the day before the tournament moves over to the Lexington Tennis Club for the afternoon.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the latest men's tennis news.