No. 34 Mississippi State Comes Back to Down Men's Tennis

March 27, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- For the sixth time this season, the University of Kentucky men's tennis team came out on the losing end of a 4-3 decision, this time to the No. 34 Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center on UK's campus in Lexington.

With the loss to the Bulldogs, Kentucky falls to 9-13 on the season and sits at 0-7 in Southeastern Conference play.

For the third straight SEC match, UK got off to a strong start by taking the doubles point. On Friday afternoon, it was the pairings of Beck Pennington and Kevin Lai in addition to the duo of Jerry Lopez and Nils Ellefsen on courts one and two that sealed the point for the Wildcats.

Kentucky held up nicely on court two to comfortably secure the 6-3 decision, but it was much closer on the first court. With the doubles point hinging on the outcome, Pennington and Lai were able to overcome an early break of serve late in the match and get things squared up at 6-6 to force a tiebreak. After dropping serve early on in the tiebreak, they won four points in a row to collect a 7-5 win and give UK the 1-0 lead.

Mississippi State (14-5, 5-2 SEC) then evened the match on court three at one all with a 6-3, 6-1 win by Mate Catura over William Bushamuka.

The Bulldogs would then take their first lead of the overall match at 2-1 when Beck Pennington lost his match on court one in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

UK would then get their only two singles wins within seconds of each other, as Jerry Lopez rallied to win 6-4, 6-3 on court two and Trey Yates won his first match on court four with a 7-5, 6-3 win.

Mississippi State then went on to win the two lone matches remaining on courts five and six to close the match, and collect the 4-3 win over the Wildcats.

UK is next back in action on Sunday afternoon against No. 60 Alabama at 1 p.m. ET.

No. 34 Mississippi State 4, Kentucky 3

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

Friday, March 27, 2015

Team records: Mississippi State 14-5, 5-2 SEC ... Kentucky 9-13, 0-7 SEC

Doubles: (Order of finish: 2, 3, 1*)

1- Beck Pennington/William Bushamuka (UK) def. Florian Lakat/Julian Cash (MSU) 7-6 (5)

2- Jerry Lopez/Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Mate Catura/Tassilo Schmid (MSU) 6-3

3- Juan Cruz Estevarena/Robin Haden (MSU) def. William Bushamuka/Trey Yates (UK) 6-3

Singles: (Order of finish: 3, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6*)

1- Florian Lakat (MSU) def. Beck Pennington (UK) 6-4, 6-4

2- Jerry Lopez (UK) def. Juan Cruz Estevarena (MSU) 6-4, 6-3

3- Mate Catura (MSU) def. William Bushamuka (UK) 6-3, 6-1

4- Trey Yates (UK) def. Tassilo Schmid (MSU) 7-5, 6-3

5- Rishab Agarwal (MSU) def. Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-3, 6-4

6- Julian Cash (MSU) def. Gus Benson (UK) 6-1, 7-5

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