Top Seeds Stop Wildcats' Advance at SEC Indoors

Jan. 17, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky men's tennis players faced a tough challenge Saturday facing four of the top eight seeds of the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Indoor Championships at Boone Tennis Center.

UK freshman Graeme Dyce faced top seed Michael Venus of LSU. Venus, ranked second in the country, took the first set 6-3, but Dyce proved a worthy opponent in the second. Dyce pushed the Tiger to a second-set tiebreak before dropping the set 7-6(3).

Fellow first-year Wildcat Alex Musialek served against the second seed of the tourney, Georgia's Nate Schnugg. The Bulldog claimed the first set 6-3 before being pushed to extra games by Musialek in the second, but pulled out the win 7-5.

Wildcat sophomore Brad Cox fared a little better against No. 6 seed J.P. Smith of Tennessee taking the opening set 6-4. Smith, the NCAA singles national runner-up a season ago, bounced back in the second to take the set 6-3. In the deciding set, Smith continued his momentum with a 6-2 win to clinch the match.

Against eighth-seeded Carlos Cueto of Florida, UK sophomore Will Beck prevailed in the first set 6-4. In a tight second set Cueto came back to edge Beck in a tiebreak 7-6(5). In the final set, Cueto outlasted the feisty Wildcat 6-4.

Fifth-seeded Wildcat Eric Quigley got derailed in a three-set match against Antoine Benneteau of Florida. The Gator edged the UK freshman 7-5 in the first before Quigley took the middle set 6-7(3). In a tight third set, Benneteau escaped with a 7-5 decision.

Participating players in this weekend's tournament 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.

Kentucky begins regular-season action next Saturday by hosting a triple-header against UNC-Wilmington, Wright State and Murray State.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for the latest men's tennis news.