Kentucky Grabs 20th Win in 5-2 Victory over South Carolina

April 3, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After winning the doubles point and getting impressive performances in singles action, the No. 14 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team posted its 20th win of the 2011 season by defeating Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina 5-2 at the Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday.

Kentucky (20-6, 5-3 SEC) has now posted consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in over 20 years when the Wildcats scored three consecutive 20-win seasons from 1987-89. All told, it marks the 18th time in school history that UK has won 20 games in one season, including a remarkable 12 times under longtime head coach Dennis Emery. Former UK head coach Graddy Johnson had five 20-win seasons, while Richard E. Vimont coached the Wildcats to one 20-win season.

“I thought that our team came out and played a good solid match today,” Emery said. “That is not always an easy thing to do when you are coming off such an emotional win like we were Friday night against Florida. It was good to come in here today and take care of business.”

With the win, the Wildcats improve their SEC road record to a notable 4-1 with wins over some of the best teams in the nation, including No. 15 Florida, then-No. 31 Ole Miss and then-No. 43 Mississippi State. UK is 12-6 overall against teams ranked in the top 50 in the nation.

“This win takes us to 4-1 on the road in the SEC and we are happy about that,” Emery said. “I am pleased with our performance so far this season on the road in conference play. All of these road matches have been tough places to play. They are all different venues to get use to and whether the crowd is big or small, they are always very vocal. For us to have won four out of five at this point in the season is very pleasing.”

Kentucky started the match against South Carolina (6-14, 1-7 SEC) by sweeping all three doubles matches. Junior Alex Musialek and sophomore Anthony Rossi began the doubles scoring by making light work of Harry Menzies and Chris Sheehan 8-1 at No. 3 doubles. UK then clinched the doubles point when junior Eric Quigley and freshman Alejandro Gomez took down Alexander Kostanov and Chip Cox 8-6 at No. 2 doubles. With the doubles point already decided, Kentucky freshman Tom Jomby and senior Alberto Gonzalez, ranked 51st in the nation in doubles, earned a 7-5 win over Nick Jones and Ivan Machado in a shortened-match tiebreaker to claim the overall match 6-5.

In singles, Kentucky was led again by No. 7 Quigley, who earned a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory over Machado at No. 1 singles, while freshman Grant Roberts gave UK a 3-0 lead at No. 6 singles with a 6-1, 6-3 victory. No. 104 Rossi clinched the victory for UK at No. 4 singles when he defeated Jones in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. The Wildcats final point on the day came at No. 5 singles with Jomby earning a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 win over Menzies.

South Carolina would earn two points in singles, getting three-set, come-from-behind wins from Kostanov at No. 2 singles and Cox at No. 3 singles. Kostanov took down No. 51 Musialek 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (9), while Cox defeated No. 100 Gonzalez 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

The Wildcats will be in action again Wednesday at 3 p.m. when they host No. 3 Ohio State in a key non-conference showdown. Kentucky will face in-state foe Morehead State in the nightcap Wednesday at 8 p.m. UK wraps up the four-match home stand when it faces No. 69 Arkansas on Friday at 3 p.m. and No. 34 LSU on Sunday at 1 p.m. All times are Eastern and subject to change.

“We are glad that we now get to come home and have a few matches at Boone,” Emery said. “It seems that we have been on the road a lot here lately and we are excited about this four-match home stand with some very good teams in Ohio State, Morehead State, Arkansas and LSU.”

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No. 14 Kentucky 5, South Carolina 2
Maxcy Gregg Tennis Center – Columbia, S.C.

#1 – No. 7 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Ivan Machado (SC) 6-2, 6-2
#2 – Alexander Kostanov (SC) def. No. 51 Alex Musialek (UK) 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (9)
#3 – Chip Cox (SC) def. No. 100 Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
#4 – No. 104 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Nick Jones (SC) 6-3, 6-4
#5 – Tom Jomby (UK) def. Harry Menzies (SC) 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
#6 – Grant Roberts (UK) def. Jake Bowling (SC) 6-1, 6-3

#1 – No. 51 Tom Jomby/Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. Nick Jones/Ivan Machado (SC) 6-5 (7-5)
#2 – Eric Quigley/Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Alexander Kostanov/Chip Cox (SC) 8-6
#3 – Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Harry Menzies/Chris Sheehan (SC) 8-1

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