UK Blanks LSU and EKU to Complete Weekend Sweep at Home

March 15, 2009


The No. 21 Kentucky men's tennis did not surrender a single team point in two matches Sunday, posting a 7-0 win over No. 41 LSU and a 6-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky to close out a three-match home stand and remain undefeated at the Boone Tennis Center this season.

UK (11-4, 2-2 SEC) evened its Southeastern Conference record after sweeping two ranked conference foes this weekend, including No. 53 Arkansas on Friday. The Cats allowed their SEC opponents just one team point through two matches and blanked the in-state rival  Colonels to outscore its opposition 19-1 this weekend. The afternoon win against the Tigers marked the first time since the 2006 SEC Tournament, when UK topped Vanderbilt 4-0, that the Wildcats held a conference opponent off the scoreboard.

"I thought today was one of our better days this season," UK head coach Dennis Emery said. "LSU has a very good team. They were a top-15 squad earlier this season, so I think our win today was really good."

LSU (5-5, 1-3) and Kentucky started out the day in doubles play.

UK freshmen Graeme Dyce and Eric Quigley jumped out to an early 3-1 lead over LSU's James Cluskey and Jonathan Tragardh on court two. After the Tigers picked up a second game, the Cats rolled off four straight en route to an 8-4 win.

On court one, the No. 13 LSU tandem of Michael Venus and Neal Skupski used a break in game one to take an early advantage over UK's No. 20 pairing of senior Bruno Agostinelli and sophomore Brad Cox. The Tigers jumped out to a 7-3 lead before the Wildcats won three straight to close to within 7-6 but the Tigers regrouped to serve out the match at 8-6 and even up the doubles matches at 1-1.

The deciding doubles match on court three was decided by a break. Wildcat sophomore Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Alex Musialek clinched the doubles point for UK with an 8-6 victory over the Tiger tandem of Sebastien Carlsson and Julien Gauthier.

Quigley has been the first UK singles winner off the court in each of his SEC matches to remain undefeated in league play at 4-0. Each of those victories has been in straight sets and his opponents have not won more than six games in any of the contests. The Pewee Valley, Ky., native won his eighth-straight match overall against LSU's James Cluskey 6-1, 6-2. The win gave UK a 2-0 lead.

"Quigley played a great match for us again today," said Emery. "He is really coming along and continues to play at a high level."

Like Quigley, Musialek is also undefeated in SEC play. On court four, the rookie gave Carlsson a quick exit with a 6-2, 6-3 defeat. The win was his seventh straight overall and gave UK a 3-0 advantage.

Sophomore Brad Cox also won in straight sets on court two, to clinch the match for the Wildcats. Skupski broke early to go up 2-0 in the first but Cox broke back to even the score at 2-2. The two battled to extra games but Cox made a final break in a marathon game 12 battling through six deuces before he came out on top 7-5. In set two, Cox broke early to jump out to a 3-0 lead and held off Skupski to take the second 6-4.

On court one, No. 2 Agostinelli played beyond two sets for the sixth-straight match this season but this time it was only a 10-point tiebreaker to decide the top-10 battle against No. 9 Michael Venus. In set one, Venus jumped out to a 5-2 lead before the Wildcat won three straight games to knot it a 5-5. The Wildcat  eventually pushed the set to a tiebreaker which the Tiger won 7-5. Agostinelli bounced back in the second holding serve throughout and breaking Venus at 5-4 to take the set. In the third set tiebreaker, Agostinelli won three straight points after being down 3-2 and never let Venus catch up to win the set and match at 10-6

"Michael Venus has been ranked as high as a No. 1 or No. 2 in the nation this year," said Emery. "So that's a great win for Bruno, He did a great job keeping his composure."

Dyce and Gauthier fought a tight battle on court five with the Wildcat taking the first set on a service break in game 10 for a 6-4 win. After four games in the second, the two were knotted at 2-2 but Dyce found a second wind and rattled off four straight games for the victory.

Gonzalez served against LSU's Mark Bowtell on court six and took the first set easily 6-2. In the second, the Tiger used a break in game six to go on to a 6-3 set win. In the 10-point third set tiebreak, Gonzalez raced out to a 7-1 lead and held on for a 10-7 decision.

In the nightcap, the Cats continued to roll.

Agostinelli cruised to victory on court one in with a 6-0, 6-1 decision over Eastern Kentucky's Alex Das Izquierdo.

Cox also earned a quick victory on court two over Colonel Mel Segota 6-2, 6-3.

On court three, Dyce picked up his second singles win of the day against EKU's Paul Verma 6-4, 6-2.

Sophomore Will Beck saw his first action since early in the season on court four against EKU's Carles Pons Escanilla. Beck breezed through the first set 6-1 and battled back from down in the second set to take the victory at 7-5. The win clinched the team match point for the Cats.

On court five, junior Alex Lambropoulos went up early on Colonel Carlos Valdenebro 4-1 en route to a 6-2 first set win. The Wildcat continued to keep the pressure on Valdenebro in the second and came away with a 6-3 victory.

Senior co-captain Shane Collins saw action on court six against Emilio Piriz of EKU. Collins made quick work of the Colonel in the first with a 6-2 set win. In the second, Piriz broke early to go up before Collins broke back and rallied to take the set at 6-4.

Beck and freshman Patrick Bandy won a doubles match 8-2 over EKU's Niklas Schroeder and Carles Pons Escanilla but no doubles point was contested.

UK plays a match outside of the conference at No. 33 Miami on Wednesday

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#21 Kentucky 7, #41 LSU 0

1. #2 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) def. #9 Michael Venus (LSU) 6-7(5), 6-4, 1-0(6)
2. Brad Cox (UK) def. Neal Skupski (LSU) 7-5, 6-4*
3. #99 Eric Quigley (UK) def. James Cluskey (LSU) 6-1, 6-2
4. Alex Musialek (UK) def. Sebastien Carlsson (LSU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Graeme Dyce (UK) def. Julien Gauthier (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
6. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. Mark Bowtell (LSU) 6-2, 3-6, 1-0(7)

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

1. #13 David Skupski / Michael Venus (LSU) def. #20 Bruno Agostinelli / Brad Cox (UK) 8-6
2. Graeme Dyce / Eric Quigley (UK) def. James Cluskey / Jonathan Tragardh (LSU) 8-4
3. Alberto Gonzalez / Alex Musialek (UK) def. Sebastien Carlsson / Julien Gauthier (LSU) 8-6

Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3

#21 Kentucky 6, Eastern Kentucky 0

1. #2 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) def. Alex Das Izquierdo (EKU) 6-0, 6-1
2. Brad Cox (UK) def. Mel Segota (EKU) 6-2, 6-3
3. Graeme Dyce (UK) def. Paul Verma  (EKU) 6-4, 6-2
4. Will Beck (UK) def. Carles Pons Escanilla (EKU) 6-1, 7-5*
5. Alex Lambropoulos (UK) def. Carlos Valdenebro (EKU) 6-2, 6-3
6. Shane Collins (UK) def. Emilio Piriz (EKU) 6-2, 6-4

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

1. Patrick Bandy / Will Beck (UK) def. Carles Pons Escanilla / Niklas Schroeder (EKU) 8-2

Order of Finish: 1 (only No. 1 doubles match played, no point contested)