UK Sweeps All Three Matches on Opening Day

Jan. 24, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Saturday marked the first time in program history that the University of Kentucky men's tennis team played three regular-season matches in one day and the No. 36 Wildcats pulled through, sweeping their opponents while only yielding one point at home in the Boone Tennis Center.

UK defeated UNC-Wilmington 6-1 in an early-morning match-up. Then the Wildcats swept Wright State, 6-0, in an afternoon match before defeating Murray State in the nightcap, 6-0.

"One of the reasons why we played three matches today was to try to get our freshmen exposed to the dual-match format of the regular season," UK head coach Dennis Emery said. "The intensity of the dual matches is a little different than the individual matches of the preseason."

The wins showcased the Wildcats' depth this season as senior Bruno Agostinelli, ranked fourth nationally, and sophomore Brad Cox did not take the court Saturday.

"This is the deepest team we've had probably since 1992 when we won the conference," Emery said. "We're actually 11-men deep. Today was a real testament as to how deep our team is this season."

Doubles play opened the UNCW match. Freshmen Eric Quigley and Graeme Dyce rolled 8-1 against Seahawks Gustavo Bertei and Illia Ziamtsou. UK sophomore Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Alex Musialek teamed up to defeat UNCW's Kinshuk Sharma and Ryan Ybarra, 8-5. Junior Alex Lambropoulos and sophomore Will Beck made it a Kentucky clean sweep with an 8-4 victory over Alex Wetherell and Anton Nikolov.

With the Cats up 1-0, singles action took center stage. In his only singles match of the day, Dyce coasted over Ybarra 6-1, 6-3 to put UK up 2-0. On court four, Beck only surrendered one game Sharma, 6-1, 6-0. No. 37 Quigley clinched the victory for Kentucky on court one with 6-2, 6-1 drubbing of Bertei. Musialek was victorious on court two, dispatching Ziamtsou 6-2, 6-1.

Wildcat freshmen Patrick Bandy and Chris Leeper played in their first regular-season collegiate action today, each playing in all three contests. Bandy opened his day with a 6-4, 6-2 win against Wetherell. Leeper fell short in his first match, with a 6-4, 6-1 loss to Nikolov.

With the win, UK opened the season 1-0 while UNCW fell to 0-2 with the loss.

In the second match of the day, UK served against Wright State in singles to open the contest.

Quigley ended his day undefeated with a 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Raider Landon Neuman to give the Cats an early 1-0 lead. On court one Gonzalez toppled WSU's Brian Dredge 6-0, 6-2. Lambropoulos cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 decision over Raider Jan Alafriz on court three. Senior co-captain Shane Collins wrapped up the UK team match point with a 6-3, 6-2 over Byron Wowchuk of WSU.

Bandy and Leeper continued their day against the Raiders in the No. 5 and 6 positions. Bandy rolled over WSU Pip Rehg 6-1, 6-0 for his second victory of the day. Meanwhile, Leeper earned his first collegiate win over Raider Brett Stewart 6-4, 6-1.

The teams did not play doubles matches. Kentucky improved to 2-0 on the season and Wright State dropped to 1-3.

UK returned in the evening to face in-state rival Murray State.

Opening with singles again, Lambropoulos put the Cats on the board first quickly disposing MSU's Luka Milisevic 6-1, 6-0. Collins notched his second win of the day doubling up Jose Berardo 6-2, 6-2. Playing at No. 1, Alex Musialek dropped only one game to Racer No. 1 Ben Clos. Beck wrapped up the fourth-point and secured the match with a 6-2, 7-5 win over MSU's Renaldo Domney.

On courts five and six Bandy and Leeper returned against the Racers. Bandy won his third match of the day in straight sets 6-3, 6-2 over Racer Mason Johnson.

Leeper kept the late-night crowd alive with a riveting comeback in the day's final match. After dropping the first set 6-2 to Jadir Semensin of MSU, Leeper came back in the second opening a 4-1 lead en route to a 6-4 set win. In the 10-point tiebreaker to decide the match the Boone crowd, led by a vocal Leeper contingent, cheered Leeper on through each point and the freshman responded with two aces midway through. After two changeovers the Paducah, Ky., native held a slight lead. Leeper broke Semensin's serve to win 10-7, complete his comeback and go to 2-1 overall.

After the victory the Cats stand 3-0 overall. Murray State fell to 0-2 on the season with the defeat.

Kentucky travels to Oxford, Miss., next weekend to face No. 9 Ole Miss in the opening round of the National Team Indoor Championships. The No. 36 Cats will face either No. 24 Rice or No. 26 Wake Forest in their second match.

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

Kentucky 6, UNC Wilmington 1
Singles
1. #37 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Gustavo Bertei (WIL) 6-2, 6-1
2. Alex Musialek (UK) def. Illia Ziamtsou (WIL) 6-2, 6-1
3. Graeme Dyce (UK) def. Ryan Ybarra (WIL) 6-1, 6-3
4. Will Beck (UK) def. Kinshuk Sharma (WIL) 6-1, 6-0.
5. Patrick Bandy (UK) def. Alex Wetherell (WIL) 6-4, 6-2
6. Anton Nikolov (WIL) def. Chris Leeper (UK) 6-4, 6-1

Doubles
1. Eric Quigley / Graeme Dyce (UK) def. Gustavo Bertei / Illia Ziamtsou (WIL) 8-1
2. Alberto Gonzalez / Alex Musialek (UK) def. Kinshuk Sharma / Ryan Ybarra (WIL) 8-5
3. Alex Lambropoulos / Will Beck (UK) def. Alex Wetherell / Anton Nikolov (WIL) 8-4

Kentucky 6, Wright State 0
Singles
1. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. Brian Dredge (WSU) 6-0, 6-2
2. #37 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Landon Neuman (WSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. Alex Lambropoulos (UK) def. Jan Alafriz (WSU) 6-2, 6-0
4. Shane Collins (UK) def. Byron Wowchuk (WSU) 6-3, 6-2
5. Patrick Bandy (UK) def. Pip Rehg (WSU) 6-1, 6-0
6. Chris Leeper (UK) def. Brett Stewart (WSU) 6-4, 6-1

Kentucky 6, Murray 0
Singles
1. Alex Musialek (UK) def. Ben Clos (MS) 6-1, 6-0
2. Alex Lambropoulos (UK) def. Luka Milisevic (MS) 6-1, 6-0
3. Shane Collins (UK) def. Jose Berardo (MS) 6-2, 6-2
4. Will Beck (UK) def. Renaldo Domney (MS) 6-2, 7-5
5. Patrick Bandy (UK) def. Mason Johnson (MS) 6-3, 6-2
6. Chris Leeper (UK) def. Jadir Semensin (MS) 2-6, 6-2 (10-7)