No. 12 Men's Tennis Defeats No. 75 Arkansas 5-2

April 8, 2011

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team used two three-set comeback victories by junior No. 7 Eric Quigley and sophomore No. 104 Anthony Rossi to secure a 5-2 victory over No. 75 Arkansas at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on Friday.  

“I thought that Arkansas did a great job tonight,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “Our guys played well in the doubles and in order to take care of business and keep people from upsetting you at home you have to win that doubles point. I was happy with our play in doubles tonight.”

Kentucky (22-7, 6-3 Southeastern Conference) began the day by taking the doubles point, but could not keep its momentum going early on in singles as Arkansas (7-14, 0-9 SEC) won four of the six first sets. The Wildcats would respond however, claiming four second sets to rebuild momentum.

“Arkansas did a great job of turning the match around in singles,” Emery said. “They won four first sets in singles and really put us in a hole. I don’t know that this was our greatest match of the year, but it was one of our grittiest performances by far. We did a good job of hanging in and turning the match around in the second set.”

After senior Brad Cox posted a dominating 6-4, 6-2 win over Nikolas Zogaj at No. 3 singles to give UK a 2-0 lead, the Tigers would tie the match 2-2 by scoring singles wins at courts two and six. Rossi answered by giving the Wildcats a 3-2 lead they would not relinquish, scoring a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 win over Gregoire Lehmann at No. 4 singles.

“Really happy with Brad’s performance today,” Emery said. “He has been a solid player for us throughout his career and it was fitting that he starts the last home weekend on his career with a dominating win.”

Freshman Tom Jomby, playing at No. 5 singles, clinched the match for Kentucky with a win over Matt Walters. The native of Nantes, France, controlled the first set for a 6-4 win but fell in the second set 7-5, setting up a decisive third set. The two players held serve to tie the set at 3-3 before Jomby broke Walters to go up 4-3. Walters would then brake back to keep the match on serve before Jomby pulled out yet another break to take a 5-4 lead. The Kentucky freshman than held serve to claim the third set 6-4 and win the match.

“Tom did not play well against Ohio State, but I was pleased with how he regrouped and decided that he was going to play really well today,” Emery said. “That is the second match that he has clinched for us in the last two weekends and that says a lot about a first-semester freshman.”

Quigley completed a come-from-behind victory to give UK the 5-2 win, defeating Chris Nott. Nott would grab the first set behind impressive serving, winning the tiebreaker 7-6 (6). After Quigley broke to go up 2-0 in the second set, the match was moved inside due to rain. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., continued to take care of business indoors, grabbing the second and third sets by a 6-4 decision to earn the win.

The afternoon started off with a strong performance in doubles led by No. 64 Quigley and Cox, who took care of business at No. 1 doubles, 8-3 over Matt Hogan and Lehmann. The Wildcats won the doubles point when senior Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Alejandro Gomez defeated Nott and Walters 9-7 at No. 3 doubles. Rossi and Alex Musialek dropped a close, shortened decision at No. 2 doubles 7-6 (1).

“We won this match 5-2 and I always believe that the scoreboard doesn’t lie, but that has to be one of the most deceiving 5-2 wins ever,” Emery said. “They just did a very good job competing, but we did a good job competing as well.

 “I thought that coach Cedric Kauffmann did a great job of helping our guys turn the match around in singles. He knew what it took to get a win today and he relayed that to our players. It was a total team win today.”

UK returns to action Sunday, hosting No. 30 LSU at 1 p.m. ET. Live scores and a live blog of the match will be available at UKathletics.com.

No. 12 Kentucky 5, No. 75 Arkansas 2
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex – Lexington, Ky.
April 8, 2011

Singles
#1 – No. 7 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Chris Nott (UA) 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-4
#2 – Matt Hogan (UA) def. No. 51 Alex Musialek (UK) 6-4, 6-3
#3 – Brad Cox (UK) def. Nikolas Zogaj (UA) 6-4, 6-2
#4 – No. 104 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Gregoire Lehmann (UA) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
#5 – Tom Jomby (UK) def. Matt Walters (UA) 6-4, 5-7, 6-4
#6 – Mike Ward (UA) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 3-6, 6-4, 2-6

Doubles
#1 – No. 64 Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) def. Matt Hogan/Gregoire Lehmann (UA) 8-3
#2 – Nikolas Zogaj/Mike Ward (UA) def. Anthony Rossi/Alex Musialek (UK) 7-6 (1)
#3 -  Alberto Gonzlaez/Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Chris Nott/Matt Walters (UA) 9-7

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