Gomez's Tiebreaks Clinch 4-1 Win over No. 54 Ole Miss

March 16, 2014

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 15 University of Kentucky men's tennis team used the doubles point and singles wins from Alejandro Gomez, Beck Pennington and Jerry Lopez to seal another Southeastern Conference win over No. 54 Ole Miss, as the Wildcats improved to 5-0 in SEC play on Sunday afternoon.

"This was a good win for us today over Ole Miss," UK volunteer assistant coach Anthony Rossi said. "Ole Miss is a lot better than their ranking, and the 4-1 score doesn't indicate how close the match was. I was really proud of Alejandro Gomez for closing out the match the way he did."

In doubles, Kentucky came out strong and broke at all three courts within a six-minute stretch to give Kentucky the point. On court three, the first match to clinch, No. 76 Ryuji Hirooka and Nils Ellefsen broke the final three times they faced the Ole Miss serve and won 8-2 easily. Hirooka and Ellefsen moved to 14-2 on the season, and picked up their second SEC win of the season.

On court two, the duo of Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez got up a break early and consolidated it throughout the match to win 8-4 on court two and take the match. The win for Pennington and Gomez is their fourth-straight in matches that have finished this season, and are now 5-4 on the season. 

In singles, Pennington's match was the first to finish, as the Bowling Green, Ky., native took out Stefan Lindmark 6-3, 6-4 on court three to give the Wildcats the 2-0 lead in the match. Pennington broke two different times in the match and rode those two breaks all the way to the end of the match. 

"Today was another good match and another good win," Pennington said. "Ole Miss is a great team and we really came out focused in the doubles point. The doubles point has been really critical for us and we are tough to beat if we win it. Ryuji (Hirooka) and Nils (Ellefsen) are playing great, and this sets us up for a great match with Georgia."

Kentucky made it 3-0 and took control of the match as Jerry Lopez won for the fourth time in five matches picking up a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win. Lopez was down a break for most of the opening set, and even down 2-5 at one point, faced a set point, and then rallied to take the tiebreak after getting the break back. Lopez then broke late in the second set to take the straight-set win.

On court one, No. 44 Nik Scholtz knocked off No. 10 Tom Jomby, as the Nantes, France, native suffered just his second loss all season in singles, falling 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3 on court one.

The match was clinched on court two, in a match that lasted over two hours, as Gomez won two of the three sets, as all three went to tiebreakers. Gomez and No. 69 William Kallberg of Ole Miss never exchanged a break all match, as Gomez forced a third set, after being down two points in the second-set tiebreak.

Gomez then in the third-set tiebreak took control early of the tiebreak, and closed out the overall match with a 7-4 win.

"I was happy to win the match today," Gomez said. "This was a great win for us as a team. I was happy with the way that I played down the stretch of my match and I'm happy that I was able to clinch the match in the third set and give us the win." 

With the win, Kentucky moves to 5-0 overall in the SEC, joining No. 16 Georgia as the only undefeated teams in the conference. Georgia and Kentucky square off on Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. ET for the SEC lead.


No. 15 Kentucky 4, No. 54 Ole Miss 1

Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center - Lexington, Ky.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Match Duration: 3:49

Doubles (Order of finish: 3, 2*)

1- No. 26 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) led William Kallberg/Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-4 (DNF)

2- Beck Pennington/Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Nik Scholtz/Ricardo Jorge (OM) 8-4

3- No. 76 Ryuji Hirooka/Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Johan Backstrom/Joe Rogers (OM) 8-2

Singles (Order of finish: 3, 4, 1, 2*)

1- No. 44 Nik Scholtz (OM) def. No. 10 Tom Jomby (UK) 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-4

2- Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. No. 89 William Kallberg (OM) 6-7 (5), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4)

3- No. 67 Beck Pennington (UK) def. Stefan Lindmark (OM) 6-3, 6-4

4- Jerry Lopez (UK) def. Johan Backstrom (OM) 7-6 (4), 6-3

5- Kevin Lai (UK) led Ricardo Jorge (OM) 7-5, 2-1 (DNF)

6- Grant Roberts (UK) led Vinod Gowda (OM) 6-3, 0-4 (DNF)

For continuing coverage of UK men's tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.