No. 3 Georgia Comes Back to Topple Kentucky at Boone
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
Despite getting out to a 2-0 lead on the No. 3 ranked Georgia Bulldogs, the University of Kentucky men's tennis team dropped a 4-2 decision at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center on Saturday after Georgia claimed the final four points of the match to move to 13-1 on the season and a league-best 6-0 mark in the Southeastern Conference.
Kentucky (7-11, 0-5 SEC) got off to a strong start, winning the doubles point over the Bulldogs for the first time since 2011 with wins on courts two and three to pick up the early 1-0 lead over UGA. The Wildcats got a 6-4 decision on court two, as Jerry Lopez and Nils Ellefsen were able to topple Eric Diaz and Nathan Pasha to put UK on the scoreboard early in the doubles competition. Minutes later, William Bushamuka and Trey Yates teamed up to beat Wayne Montgomery and Paul Oosterbaan on court three to seal the 1-0 overall lead.
When singles play started, Kentucky again had a strong start, as junior Beck Pennington recorded a 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 14 Wayne Montgomery of Georgia. The win for Pennington was the best he's ever had in terms of rankings, as he recorded his 13th win over a top-50 ranked opponent, and fifth this season. Pennington cruised in both sets and was never broken in the 15-game match, as he put Kentucky up 2-0.
The Bulldogs (13-1, 6-0 SEC) would then move to close the gap, as Nathan Pasha defeated William Bushamuka 6-3, 6-1 on court two to pull the gap to a 2-1 lead before the Bulldogs tied the score at 2-2 with a 6-3, 7-6 (6) win on court two.
Georgia would take its first lead of the afternoon at 3-2 overall as Nick Wood was able to come from behind in the third set to take a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 decision over Kentucky's Trey Yates. Yates strongly closed out the first set 6-4, and in the final set was leading 4-3, but lost the final three games to drop the match.
The match would be clinched on court five as Kevin Lai lost his match in straight sets.
Kentucky is next back in action on March 21 at 2 p.m. ET, as the Wildcats will travel to Nashville, Tenn., to face off against the Vanderbilt Commodores. UK dropped a 4-3 decision to VU in the ITA Kick-Off Regionals earlier this season.
No. 3 Georgia 4, Kentucky 2
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center - Lexington, Ky.
Saturday, March 14, 2014
Doubles: (Order of finish: 2, 3*)
1- Beck Pennington/Kevin Lai (UK) led Ben Wagland/Austin Smith (UGA) 6-6 (2-1) (DNF)
2- Jerry Lopez/Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Eric Diaz/Nathan Pasha (UGA) 6-4
3- William Bushamuka/Trey Yates (UK) def. Wayne Montgomery/Paul Oosterbaan (UGA) 7-5
Singles: (Order of finish: 1, 3, 2, 4, 5*)
1- Beck Pennington (UK) def. Wayne Montgomery (UGA) 6-2, 6-1
2- Austin Smith (UGA) def. Jerry Lopez (UK) 6-3, 7-6 (7)
3- Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. William Bushamuka (UK) 6-3, 6-1
4- Nick Wood (UGA) def. Trey Yates (UK) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
5- Ben Wagland (UGA) def. Kevin Lai (UK) 6-4, 6-4
6- Peter Oosterbaan (UGA) def. Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-3, 6-6 (0-0) (DNF)
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