Kentucky Men's Tennis Splits Doubleheader

April 2, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 13 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team split a doubleheader in non-conference play on Wednesday afternoon, knocking off the Northern Kentucky Norse after falling to the No. 11 Illinois Fighting Illini in the earlier match of the day at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky.  

In the early match with No. 11 Illinois, the Wildcats started off strong, taking the doubles point with wins on court one and two before the third match could finish. Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai knocked off their second top-three doubles team this season on court one, as Jomby and Lai knocked off No. 3 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopenski 8-6. Jomby and Lai got off to a quick start, getting up a double-break lead at 5-1 to start the match. After the Fighting Illini would get one break back at 6-5, Jomby and Lai then broke right back to take the 7-5 lead. They would end up closing out the match on serve, and took the match, 8-6.

On court two, Alejandro Gomez and Beck Pennington also got off to a quick start, taking the quick 6-3 lead on the second court. Gomez and Pennington then were broken back at 6-6 and the match was back on serve until Pennington and Gomez collected a break in the last game of the match, breaking at love in a 7-6 match to close out the match and the doubles point. 

In singles, Illinois would rattle off two wins on court two and three relatively quickly, both in straight sets, and quickly flipped the scoreboard to read 2-1 Illini. Alejandro Gomez lost his match on court three in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3 before Pennington fell on court two, 6-2, 6-4. Pennington had a chance to break back at 5-4 in the second set, and had a few break points after saving two match points, but was unable to convert on the opportunity. 

The match would quickly be squared at 2-2 when freshman Jerry Lopez won in straight sets on court four, 6-4, 6-3. Lopez was not broken of his serve the entire match and got two breaks in the match to collect the win. Lopez and his opponent, Blake Bazarnik of Illinois were on serve at 4-4 in the opening set when Lopez broke, and then the freshman from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, broke in the opening game of the second set to take the early lead and hung on to win. 

Illinois would jet out in front at 3-2 when Ross Guignon picked up a straight-set win on court five over Kevin Lai. Lai and Guignon were on serve at four all in the opening set when Lai then broke for the 5-4 lead, and served for the opening set on his racquet. Guignon then broke Lai, and forced a tiebreak, preceding to win the tiebreak, 7-5, and clinch the opening set. Guignon then won the first four games of the second set, and cruised to a 6-1 second-set win. 

The clinching match was on court one, as No. 11 Tom Jomby was upset by No. 23 Farris Gosea. Jomby was down 2-5 in the opening set before breaking and forcing a tiebreak. After trailing 1-3 in the tiebreak, Jomby won three-straight points and took the 8-7 lead, before closing out the set with a 9-7 tiebreak win. In the second and third set, Jomby was broken on his opening service games of the set and was unable to break back the rest of the match to clinch it.

Grant Roberts on court six won the first set by getting up an early break, lost the second set by being broken at 4-5 when the match was on serve, and then didn’t finish his match in the third set. After getting broken at 1-0, and again at 3-1, Roberts fought back from two break points at 2-4 and got the match to 5-5. After his opponent, Illinois’ Julian Childers, held for 6-5, Roberts was up 40-15 looking to force a tiebreak at the time Illinois clinched the match.

In the nightcap match, Kentucky knocked off the Northern Kentucky Norse, 6-0, with wins in six singles matches from Pennington, Lopez, Ellefsen, Hirooka, Lai and Maks Gold in the win over NKU.

The Wildcats continue its three-week long homestand on Sunday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center when UK welcomes in the No. 26 Vanderbilt Commodores for a 2:00 p.m. ET Southeastern Conference match.

Agate [Match 1]

No. 11 Illinois 4, No. 14 Kentucky 2

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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

1- No. 31 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) def. No. 3 Ross Guignon/Tim Kopenski (ILL) 8-6

2- Beck Pennington/Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Farris Gosea/Jared Hiltzik (ILL) 8-6

3- Blake Bazarnik/Alex Jesse (ILL) led Ryuji Hirooka/Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-4 (DNF)

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

1- No. 23 Farris Gosea (ILL) def No. 11 Tom Jomby 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3

2- No. 9 Jared Hiltzik (ILL) def. No. 90 Beck Pennington (UK) 6-2, 6-4

3- No. 42 Tim Kopenski (ILL) def. No. 85 Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-1, 6-3

4- Jerry Lopez (UK) def. Blake Bazarnik (ILL) 6-4, 6-3

5- Ross Guignon (ILL) def. Kevin Lai (UK) 7-6 (4), 6-1

6- Julian Childers (ILL) led Grant Roberts (UK) 3-6, 6-4, 6-5 (DNF)


Agate [Match 2]

No. 14 Kentucky 6, Northern Kentucky 0

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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

1- No. 90 Beck Pennington (UK) def. Matre Virag 6-1, 7-6 (4)

2- Jerry Lopez (UK) def. Pierce Kohls (NKU) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4

3- Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Jody Maginley 6-4, 6-0

4- Ryuji Hirooka (UK) def. Chris Angulo (NKU) 6-1, 6-3

5- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Balint Zsidai (NKU) 6-1, 6-0

6- Maks Gold (UK) def. Nick Lang (NKU) 6-1, 6-2

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