No. 13 Kentucky Falls to No. 5 Ohio State, 5-2

April 1, 2009


Playing outdoors for the first time in Lexington this season, the No. 13 Kentucky men’s tennis team could not capitalize on the home court advantage at the Boone Tennis Complex falling 5-2 to No. 5 Ohio State Wednesday.

UK took points at No.1 and No. 2 singles but the Buckeyes’ depth caused the Wildcats problems on the other singles courts. Ohio State (21-1) played four players ranked in the top 100 in their singles line-up. Kentucky is only the third team to score on OSU in the Buckeyes’ last 13 matches.

“Ohio State is one of the favorites to win the NCAA tournament,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “They are one of the favorites because they don’t have any gaps in their line-up. I thought we got a good start in doubles. We were up in all three doubles matches at one point or another. I just thought they wore us out a little bit in the singles. They have a very good team.”

UK (13-6, 3-3 SEC) and OSU provided dramatic doubles action to a sizable outdoor crowd, as all three winning teams came back to win after being down a break or more early.

On court three, the Kentucky pair of sophomore Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Alex Musialek took an early 4-1 lead. But the Buckeye team of Bryan Koniecko and Shuhei Uzawa found its rhythm to take seven of the final eight games for the 8-5 win.

OSU’s Matt Allare and Balazs Novak went up early in its match against the Wildcat freshman team of Graeme Dyce and Eric Quigley. This time it was the Cats who stormed back to tie the match at 7-7 and then win the next two games for a dramatic 9-7 come-from-behind victory.

The doubles point was hanging in the balance on court one in a battle of ranked teams. The No. 19 team of senior Bruno Agostinelli and sophomore Brad Cox broke out to a 6-3 lead over OSU’s No. 39 tandem of Steven Moneke and Justin Kronauge. However, the Buckeyes could not be put away, fighting back to a seven-all tie. After the teams split the next two games, Ohio State won the tiebreaker for a 9-8 win to clinch the doubles point.

Cox evened up the team score at 1-1 with a singles victory on stadium court two. He won his fifth match in his last seven contests, quickly dispatching Buckeye Chase Buchanan 6-2, 6-4.
On court six, Gonzalez took an early lead in the first against No. 100 Allare but could not hold on as the Buckeye won 7-5. Allare continued his momentum in the second with a 6-1 victory to give OSU a 2-1 lead.

Eighth-ranked Steven Moneke of Ohio State halted Quigley’s double-digit match winning streak, notching a 6-4, 6-3 win on court three. The Buckeyes stretched their lead to 3-1 with the win.

On court four, Musialek lost a tight first set, 6-4 to OSU’s No. 18 Kronauge. The ranked Buckeye then proved too much for the UK freshman in the second en route to a 6-1 win to clinch the team match point for Ohio State.

Dyce dropped a tight first set in a tiebreak to Novak on court five, but the Buckeye rolled in the second to a 6-0 win for OSU’s final point of the evening.

The last match pitted No. 4 Koniecko against No. 5 Agostinelli in a battle royal and they did not disappoint fans on stadium court one. The players battled through long rallies with powerful ground strokes that pleased the crowd.

Koniecko jumped out to the lead in set one with an early break and used that advantage to take the first set 6-3. In the second, Agostinelli turned the tables on Koniecko using the same formula for his 6-3 win to force the deciding set. Koniecko took the early lead in the third but Agostinelli fought back with a break to take the lead midway through the set en route to a 6-3 victory.

“It’s a great win for Bruno to beat the fourth-ranked player in the country,” Emery said. “Cox continues to play really well winning five of his last seven and has done a really good job for us.”

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for UK. The Wildcats travel to Mississippi this weekend to face No. 2 Ole Miss on Friday and No. 60 Mississippi State on Sunday.

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Apr. 1, 2009
Lexington, Ky. (Boone Tennis Complex)

#5 Ohio State 5, #13 Kentucky 2

1. #5 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) def. #4 Bryan Koniecko (OSU) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. Brad Cox (UK) def. Chase Buchanan (OSU) 6-2, 6-4
3. #8 Steven Moneke (OSU) def. Eric Quigley (UK) 6-4, 6-3
4. #18 Justin Kronauge (OSU) def. Alex Musialek (UK) 6-4, 6-1
5. Balazs Novak (OSU) def. Graeme Dyce (UK) 7-6, 6-0
6. #100 Matt Allare (OSU) def. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 7-5, 6-1

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

1. #39 Justin Kronauge / Steven Moneke (OSU) def. #19 Bruno Agostinelli / Brad Cox (UK) 9-8(2)
2. Graeme Dyce / Eric Quigley (UK) def. Matt Allare / Balazs Novak (OSU) 9-7
3. Bryan Koniecko / Shuhei Uzawa (OSU) def. Alberto Gonzalez / Alex Musialek (UK) 8-5

Order of Finish: 3, 2, 1