No. 12 Kentucky Wins Key SEC Road Match at Mississippi State

March 6, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind claiming the doubles point and winning five of the six singles matches, the No. 12 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team claimed its second 6-1 decision of the weekend, defeating No. 43 Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., on Sunday.

“This is a great win for our guys,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “One of the toughest things to do in sports, especially in collegiate tennis, is to transition from playing indoors to playing outdoors. Today we made that transition very well. To beat a really good outdoors team like this that you have to battle and fight against is a good sign for us, especially in our first outdoor match of the year. I thought that this was one of our best efforts both physically and emotionally that our players have put together in several years.”

Kentucky (13-3, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) continued to be dominate in both singles and doubles, winning five singles matches, including four by straight sets. With the win, UK moves to 2-0 in SEC play after posting its first win in over 20 years at Ole Miss on Friday.

“I felt like coach (Cedric) Kauffmann crafted some very good game plans on a couple of courts today and that was something that was important for us,” Emery said. “Mississippi State is going to be a top-25 team at the end of the year. They have that kind of talent. This is a win that is going to help us as the year goes on. They are very tough outs at Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 and we were able to win three of those matches. You have to really battle and play hard to win at those four spots and we did that today.”

The singles scoring started when junior Eric Quigley, ranked No. 5 in the nation, took down George Coupland 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, while senior No. 86 Alberto Gonzalez finished soon after with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Male Stropp. Kentucky clinched the match at No. 5 singles when sophomore Anthony Rossi scored a straight-sets winner over No. 73 Louis Cant 6-3, 6-3.

With the match already decided, sophomore No. 57 Alex Musialek and freshman Tom Jomby kept the pressure on the Bulldogs, winning at No. 2 and No. 6 singles, respectively. Musialek defeated No. 92 Artem Ilyushin 6-4, 6-4, while Jomby won a three-set thriller over Zach White to give UK the 6-1 win.

“A lot of credit to Tom (Jomby) today, who really had a hard-fought win at No. 6 singles,” Emery said. “He fell behind in the first set and really turned up his game in the third set tiebreaker to come away with a victory. That is not easy to do, especially with the match already decided.”

Kentucky continued its strong performance so far this season in doubles playing, winning two doubles matches to improve to 8-0 this season when UK claims the doubles point. Quigley and senior Brad Cox started the winning in doubles, posting a dominating 8-3 victory over Cant and Stropp at No. 1 doubles. The Wildcats clinched the doubles point at court No. 3 when Rossi and Musialek took down Ilyushin and Stump 8-6.

“Mississippi State is going to be a top 25 team at the end of the year, they have that kind of talent. This is a win that is going to help us and get better as the year goes on. They are very tough outs at Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 and we were able to win three of those matches. You have to really battle and play hard to win at those four spots and we did that today.”

The Wildcats will return to action next weekend when it hosts two of the best teams in the nation in No. 2 Tennessee and No. 13 Georgia. UK will face Tennessee on Friday at 3 p.m. ET, while hosting Georgia on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Live stats for both matches will be available at UKathletics.com.

For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, visit UKathletics.com or follow the “University of Kentucky men’s tennis team” on Facebook.

#12 Kentucky 6, #43 Mississippi State 1
Starkville, Miss. – 3/6/11
DOUBLES
No. 1 – Brad Cox/Eric Quigley (Kentucky) def. Louis Cant/Malte Stropp (MSU) 8-3
No. 2 – George Coupland/Zach White (MSU) vs. Alberto Gonzalez/Tom Jomby (Kentucky) 9-8, UK ret.
No. 3 – Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (Kentucky) def. Artem Ilyushin/Tanner Stump (MSU) 8-6
(Order of Finish: 1,2)

SINGLES
No. 1 – #5 Eric Quigley Quigley (Kentucky) def. George Coupland (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
No. 2 – #57 Alex Musialek (Kentucky) def. #92 Artem Ilyushin (MSU) 6-4, 6-4
No. 3 – James Chaudry (MSU) def. Brad Cox (Kentucky) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
No. 4 – #86 Alberto Gonzalez (Kentucky) def. Tanner Stropp (MSU) 6-3, 6-2
No. 5 – Anthony Rossi (Kentucky) def. #73 Louis Cant (MSU) 6-3, 6-3
No. 6 –  Tom Jomby (Kentucky) def. Zach White (MSU) 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(2)
(Order of Finish: 1,4,5,2,3,6)