No. 9 Men's Tennis Rolls No. 47 Arkansas 6-1
March 4, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The ninth-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team won the doubles point for the third-consecutive match and grabbed five wins in singles action, earning a dominating 6-1 win over Southeastern Conference foe No. 47 Arkansas on Sunday at the Billingsley Tennis Center in Fayetteville, Ark.
Kentucky (13-3) swept all three doubles matches to grab a 1-0 lead before controlling singles action with four straight-set singles wins. The win is Kentucky's second consecutive over a top-50 team after the Wildcats began their SEC slate with a 5-1 win over No. 17 LSU on Friday. UK now has nine wins over ranked foe this season, while its victory over LSU was Kentucky's 23rd over a top-25 team since the start of the 2009 season.
"A very nice SEC road win for us," said UK head coach Dennis Emery, who is in his 30th season at the helm of the UK program. "Arkansas is a good team that has played very well recently with their road win over Santa Clara last weekend. I'm pleased with how our team was very businesslike this weekend to get two big SEC road wins. We couldn't have hoped for any better result than what we got this weekend. It was a great way to start this SEC season."
The victory over Arkansas completes an eight-match road swing for UK with the Wildcats posting a 5-3 record, including wins over four ranked teams. Kentucky's three losses came to top-10 teams. UK will begin a five-match homestand on Friday at 1 p.m. ET against No. 22 South Carolina. The match will be Kentucky's SEC home opener. Admission to all UK men's tennis home matches is free of charge.
The Wildcats continued to show improvement in doubles against Arkansas (9-3), winning the doubles point for the third-consecutive match. Senior Alex Musialek and sophomore Grant Roberts started the winning by taking down Gregoire Lehmann and Mike Ward 8-3 at No. 3 doubles, before junior Anthony Rossi and sophomore Tom Jomby clinched the point at No. 2 doubles with an 8-5 win over Michael Nott and Manfred Jeske. Kentucky's top doubles duo of No. 27 Eric Quigley and Panav Jha finished off the doubles sweep with an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles over Hall Fess and Matt Walters. UK is now 9-0 this season when it wins the doubles point.
"We started doubles by earning a break on each court, which is really important on the road because it gets the momentum going your direction," Emery said. "Arkansas has been really good in doubles this season, so it was good for us to get that point. I think winning the doubles the way we did really set the tone for the rest of the match."
UK claimed five first sets in singles en route to earning four straight-set wins in the victory. Sophomores Roberts and Jha were the first to finish in singles to give Kentucky a commanding 3-0 lead in the match. Roberts finished first with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Nott at court six before Jha earned an impressive 6-4, 6-3 win at court five over Ward.
"The bottom of our lineup really won this match for us today," Emery said. "Panav Jha and Grant Roberts played very, very well down at courts five and six. When we play like that at the bottom of our order then we are really hard to beat. I'm happy that those two guys came out focused and ready to go today."
Quigley, who is ranked sixth in the nation in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, clinched the match at court one when he took down Lehmann 6-4, 6-3. Moments later, No. 16 Musialek pushed Kentucky's lead to 5-0 with his 6-4, 6-4 win at court two over Walters. Musialek was down a break in the second set before turning the tables and rallying for the win.
Two singles matches were headed into third sets when Kentucky clinched the match, setting up a 10-point super tiebreaker for the third set. No. 98 Jomby won one of the super tiebreakers at No. 4 singles, defeating Jeske 7-6 (3), 2-6, 10-3, while No. 14 Rossi dropped his super tiebreaker to Nikolas Zogaj, falling in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 10-8.
The Razorbacks started SEC play with a 4-3 win over No. 48 Vanderbilt on Friday. Arkansas defeated No. 43 Santa Clara last week to catapult into the top 50 of the team rankings.
Last year, Kentucky defeated Arkansas in the lone meeting between the two teams. The Wildcats took down then-No. 75 Arkansas 5-2 on April 8 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky. UK leads the all-time series with Arkansas 23-3.
For more information on the Kentucky men's tennis team, follow "UKmentennis" on Twitter or "University of Kentucky men's tennis team" on Facebook.
No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats 6, No. 47 Arkansas Razorbacks 1
Billingsley Tennis Center - Fayetteville, Ark.
Sunday, Mar 4, 2012
1. #6 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Gregoire Lehmann (ARK) 6-4, 6-3
2. #16 Alex Musialek (UK) def. Matt Walters (ARK) 6-4, 6-4
3. Nikolas Zogaj (ARK) def. #14 Anthony Rossi (UK) 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8)
4. #98 Tom Jomby (UK) def. Manfred Jeske (ARK) 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 1-0 (10-3)
5. Panav Jha (UK) def. Mike Ward (ARK) 6-4, 6-3
6. Grant Roberts (UK) def. Michael Nott (ARK) 6-3, 6-3
1. #27 Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) def. Hall Fess/Matt Walters (ARK) 8-6
2. Anthony Rossi/Tom Jomby (UK) def. Michael Nott/Manfred Jeske (ARK) 8-5
3. Alex Musialek/Grant Roberts (UK) def. Gregoire Lehmann/Mike Ward (ARK) 8-3
Order of finish: