Kentucky Drops First SEC Road Match at No. 26 Auburn

March 26, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 14th-ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team received a thrilling three-set singles win from sophomore Alex Musialek, but could not find a point elsewhere, falling to the 26th-ranked Auburn Tigers 4-1 in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday.

“Auburn was just better than us today,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We knew they were very good at home and very talented. We had plenty of opportunities today that we did not take advantage of. Auburn is a top-15 team at home and having a chance to beat them today required a better emotional day from us than what we got.”

The loss to Auburn (11-6, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) snaps the Wildcats five-match winning streak dating back to its convincing win over No. 21 Notre Dame last week. Kentucky still holds an impressive 11-6 record this season against top-50 ranked teams, including a 5-4 record on the road with wins over No. 13 Texas Tech, No. 29 Washington, No. 31 Ole Miss, No. 43 Mississippi State and No. 46 Indiana.

Kentucky (18-6, 3-3 Southeastern Conference) started the match by dropping the doubles point in a tightly contested doubles battle. Auburn claimed the match at No. 2 doubles when No. 63 Alex Stamchev and Andreas Mies took down No. 41 Alberto Gonzalez and Tom Jomby 8-3. The Wildcats then evened up the count 1-1 in doubles when Musialek and sophomore Anthony Rossi made light work of Lucas Lopasso and Rafael Rondino 8-4. The Tigers claimed the doubles point at No. 1 doubles when Tim Puetz and Daniel Cochrane defeated No. 48 Eric Quigley and Brad Cox in a back-and-forth match 9-8 (6).

Musialek was the lone Wildcat to post a win in singles, taking down Tim Hewitt in a three-set thriller. Hewitt claimed the first set 6-3 before Musialek responded in the second and third sets to post 6-2 wins in each to claim the match. The native of Dax, France, is now 13-7 this season.

Auburn defeated the Wildcats in three closely contested singles matches at Nos. 1, 3 and 6 singles. After entering singles with a 1-0 lead, the Tigers took a 2-0 lead when No. 104 Stamchev beat Cox 6-3, 7-6 (5) at No. 3 singles. Musialek then posted his singles win to cut the lead to 2-1, before Rondino took down Jomby 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 at No. 6 singles. Auburn claimed the match when No. 31 Tim Puetz posted a come-from-behind win over No. 4 Quigley 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-1.

Kentucky will now have a week off before continuing its SEC road schedule at No. 19 Florida on Friday at 3 p.m. ET.

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#26 Auburn University 4, #14 University of Kentucky 1
1. #31 Tim Puetz (AU) def. #4 Eric Quigley (UK) 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 6-1
2. #47 Alex Musialek (UK) def. Tim Hewitt (AU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
3. #104 Alex Stamchev (AU) def. Brad Cox (UK) 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
4. #105 Daniel Cochrane (AU) vs. #117 Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 7-5, 1-6, 6-5, unfinished
5. #121 Andreas Mies (AU) vs. #77 Anthony Rossi (UK) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 0-3, unfinished
6. Rafael Rondino (AU) def. Tom Jomby (UK) 6-3, 5-7, 6-4

1. Tim Puetz/Daniel Cochrane (AU) def. #48 Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) 9-8 (6-8)
2. #63 Alex Stamchev/Andreas Mies (AU) def. #41 Alberto Gonzalez/Tom Jomby (UK) 8-3
3. Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Lucas Lopasso/Rafael Rondino (AU) 8-4

Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,2,6,1)