No. 31 Wildcats fall at No. 5 Virginia

Feb. 6, 2009


University of Kentucky men’s tennis freshman Alex Musialek earned a point for the Wildcats but fifth-ranked Virginia was too tough at home as the Cavaliers won 6-1 on the Boyd Tinsley Courts in Charlottesville Va.

Musialek got the No. 31 Cats on the board at number five. Musialek jumped out to a quick lead in the first set and then closed it out 6-2 over Virginia’s Steven Eelkman Rooda. In the second set, Musialek broke Rooda’s serve to go up 4-1 from a 1-all tie. The foes alternated games as Musialek shut the door on Rooda 6-3 for the win.

At the No. 1 doubles slot, it was a battle of two top-15 squads. The third-ranked Cavalier duo of Sanam Singh and Houston Barrick topped the No. 13 Wildcat tandem of senior Bruno Agostinelli and sophomore Brad Cox 8-5.

On doubles court two, another ranked squad from UVA earned a win as the No. 27 team of Dominic Inglot and Michael Shabaz took out UK freshmen Graeme Dyce and Eric Quigley 8-2. The Cavaliers also took the No. 3 match when Lee Singer and Drew Courtney defeated sophomore Will Beck and junior Alex Lambropoulos 8-5.

With the 1-0 lead in UVA’s favor, singles action began on all six courts inside Tinsley.

The top-ranked Cavalier singles player increased the UVA lead to 2-0 with a win on court two. No. 11 Michael Shabaz went up an early break against No. 37 Quigley in the first for a 2-0 lead and used that advantage to close the set a 6-3. In the second set, the Cavalier again went up a break at 3-1 but the Wildcat rookie fought back to close in at 4-3. However, Shabaz took the next two games for the match at 6-3.

 After Musialek trimmed the UVA lead to 2-1, Singh turned in the Cavs’ third point on court two. The 24th-ranked Singh jumped out quickly over Cox to win the first set 6-1. In the second, Singh used an early break to go up 3-1 and then held off the Wildcat at 6-2 to secure the team point.

Virginia notched its fourth point of the night on court six. No. 108 Courtney of UVA battled Alberto Gonzalez in a tight first set with many ties, but Courtney edged the Wildcat sophomore 7-5 for the set win. In the second set, the Cavalier went up 3-1 after a break but Gonzalez narrowed the deficit to 4-3 before Courtney closed out the set at 6-3.

On court four, Dyce battled No. 68 Barrick of UVA. The Cavalier went up a break early in the first for a 2-0 lead. Dyce then fought back to close the gap to 5-4 and then broke back against Singh to take a 6-5 lead and eventually close out the set 7-5. Barrick stormed out and put the Wildcat on his heels in the second to post a 6-0 win and force a third stanza. In the deciding set, Barrick jumped out to a 2-1 lead and then rattled off the next four games to take the match at 6-1 and give UVA its fifth point on the night.

The final match on the court was at No. 1 singles in a battle of ranked players. No. 4 Agostinelli took the first set 6-3 over No. 43 Inglot after a late break in the final two games pushed the Wildcat to a win from 4-3. In the second set, the UK senior captain broke out to a 4-2 lead but Inglot saved himself by winning the next four games to take the set 6-4. The players battled in a 10-point tiebreak to decide the final set.

Inglot jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the tiebreak. Agostinelli narrowed the margin to 4-3 but Inglot rallied to take the next four points to go up 8-3. Agostinelli fought back a second time to close to 8-6 and the players split the final four points of the match as Inglot won the breaker 10-8 for the match win.

“The key to the match was that they jumped on us early in the doubles matches,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We didn’t play very well in doubles. We were tight and went down immediately. I thought we had some opportunities to turn the match around at singles, but Virginia did what a good team does and controlled the first sets in singles after winning the doubles point to carry through their momentum.

“I think we have a good, young team but we just ran up against a team that returned four starters from the Final Four last year.”

With the loss Kentucky falls to 4-2 on the year. UVA remains undefeated at 7-0 this season with the victory.

The Wildcats are off until they serve at love twice on Sat. Feb. 14, at home against Morehead State and later on the road in Louisville to battle border-rival, No. 57 Indiana.

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#5 Virginia 6, #31 Kentucky 1

1. #43 Dominic Inglot (UVA) def. #4 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) 3-6, 6-4, 10-8
2. #24 Sanam Singh (UVA) def. Brad Cox (UK) 6-1, 6-2
3. #11 Michael Shabaz (UVA) def. #37 Eric Quigley (UK) 6-3, 6-3
4. #68 Houston Barrick (UVA) def. Graeme Dyce (UK) 5-7, 6-0, 6-1
5. Alex Musialek (UK) def. Steven Eelkman Rooda (UVA) 6-2, 6-3
6. #108 Drew Courtney (UVA) def. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 7-5, 6-3

Order of finish:
3, 5, 2, 6*, 4, 1

1. #3 Houston Barrick / Sanam Singh (UVA) def. #13 Bruno Agostinelli / Brad Cox (UK) 8-5
2. #27 Dominic Inglot / Michael Shabaz (UVA) def. Graeme Dyce / Eric Quigley (UK) 8-2
3. Drew Courtney / Lee Singer (UVA) def. Will Beck / Alex Lambropoulos (UK) 8-5

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3