No. 8 Men's Tennis Uses Singles Dominance To Take Down No. 40 Bulldogs

March 5, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind an impressive performance in singles, where Kentucky claimed wins on four courts, the No. 8 UK men's tennis team won its fifth match of the season against a ranked team and its first Southeastern Conference match with a 4-3 victory over No. 40 Mississippi State on Friday.

Kentucky (10-4, 1-0 SEC) lost the first point of the match by losing the doubles point, but answered with authority in singles action, claiming four singles points. UK sophomore Alex Musialek, juniors Brad Cox and Alberto Gonzalez, and freshman Anthony Rossi all won singles matches.

"This is a great win for us against a very talented Mississippi State team," head coach Dennis Emery said. "The Bulldogs are a very talented and tough team and for us to come back after losing the doubles point and get this win is a step forward for us in reaching our goals that we have set for this season."

Musialek's win, his 10th of the season, sealed the match for the Wildcats. The native of Dax, France, played great tennis the entire match, pulling ahead of MSU sophomore Artem Ilyushin with a first set win 7-6 (7-5). The UK sophomore lost the second set, but broke serve in the third to open up a three game lead and seal the UK victory 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-3.

Kentucky received straight-set victories from Cox, Gonzalez and Rossi in singles. A native of Duluth, Ga., Cox was brilliant in singles on Friday, dominating the first and second sets. The junior won the first set 6-3 and followed in the second to post a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

Gonzalez, a native of Bradenton, Fla., was even more impressive in the Kentucky victory. Gonzalez, playing at the No. 5 singles position for the fifth time this season, won the first set against Bulldog sophomore Max Gregor-Smith 6-0 and followed in the second set with a 6-1 victory. The junior, who was ranked No. 125 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll last week, is now 10-2 on the season.

Kentucky's final singles point came at the No. 4 singles position from Rossi. The native of Martigues, France, defeated MSU sophomore Antonio Lastre in the first set 6-4 and claimed the match with a 6-2 victory in the second set. The win was Rossi's seventh of the season and his fourth at the No. 4 singles position.

Sophomore Eric Quigley and junior Graeme Dyce lost two close matches in singles. Quigley lost to No. 100 Louis Cant 6-4, 7-5 in a back-and-forth two set affair, while Dyce lost a hard-fought 6-3, 6-4 match to sophomore Daniel Sanchez.

Although the Wildcats lost the doubles point to Mississippi State (6-4, 0-1 SEC) they got an impressive performance at the No. 2 doubles position from Gonzalez and senior Alex Lambropoulos. The tandem teamed up to make easy work of State's sophomore team of Lastre and Sanchez 8-2. It marks the fourth win of the season for the UK duo, who has won two of their last three matches.

Kentucky got strong performances at the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions, pushing both matches to extra frames. No. 15 Quigley and Cox lost at No. 1 doubles 9-7, while Musialek and Rossi lost in a tiebreaker 9-8 (11-9) at No. 3 doubles.

UK will return to action on Sunday to face No. 15 Ole Miss (9-1, 1-0 SEC). The Rebels are coming off a 6-1 win at No. 30 Vanderbilt on Friday. The Wildcats are looking for their first win against the Rebels since the 2002 Southeastern Conference tournament.

The match is schedule to begin at 1 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Admission to the match is free with live results available at ukathletics.com.

No. 8 Kentucky 4, No. 40 Mississippi State 3
Hilary J. Boone Indoor Tennis Complex
Lexington, Ky.
3/5/2010


Agate
Singles:
1. No. 100 Louis Cant (MSU) def. No. 8 Eric Quigley (UK) 6-4, 7-5
2. No. 37 Alex Musialek (UK) def. Artem Ilyushin (MSU) 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-4
3. Brad Cox (UK) def. No. 101 George Coupland (MSU) 6-3, 6-4
4. Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Antonio Lastre (MSU) 6-4, 6-2
5. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. Max Gregor-Smith (MSU) 6-0, 6-1
6. Daniel Sanchez (MSU) def. Graeme Dyce (UK) 6-3, 6-4

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

Doubles:
1. George Coupland/Artem Ilyushin (MSU) def. No. 15 Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) 9-7
2. Alberto Gonzalez/Alex Lambropoulos (UK) def. Antonio Lastre/Daniel Sanchez (MSU) 8-2
3. Chris Doerr/Louis Cant (MSU) def. Anthony Rossi/Alex Musialek (UK) 9-8 (11-9)

Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3