No. 14 Kentucky Topples No. 4 Tennessee for Second Time This Season

April 10, 2009


It was a monumental Friday night for Kentucky men's tennis senior Bruno Agostinelli at the Boone Tennis Center. Fifth-ranked Agostinelli recorded his 100th career singles victory to clinch the match on court one against No. 9 John-Patrick Smith and lead the No. 14 Wildcats to a 4-3 victory over No. 4 Tennessee.

UK (15-8, 5-4 SEC) dealt UT (18-4, 7-2) its fourth loss of the season, snapping the Vols' 10-match win streak. The Wildcats have now accounted for half of Tennessee's losses this season, after winning a non-conference road match in Knoxville 4-2, Feb. 21.

"I thought it was our best performance of the year," said UK head coach Dennis Emery. "I thought we played better than when we beat Tennessee earlier this year. (Tennessee) can really come at you and hurt you in a lot of different ways and for us to be able to defeat them the way we did was really good.

"I thought it was the best match of the year for Dyce and Quigley at No. 2 doubles. I also thought Quigley played his best singles match of the year at the No. 3 position. Bruno certainly played one of his best matches of the year and I thought Musialek played his best match of the year at No. 4. It really takes that kind of effort to beat a team like that; you really have to step up your play."

Agostinelli earned his fourth-straight win against Smith, a 2008 NCAA singles finalist, this school year. The top-10 opponents battled in front of a raucous home crowd on court one with UK leading the match 3-1.

In the first set, Agostinelli broke Smith in game three to go up 2-1. That would be all the Wildcat would need to earn the 6-4 win. Both players held serve in the second through six games. Agostinelli closed out game six after battling through five deuces to knot the score at three. Then he rattled off the final three games, breaking Smith twice in the process, to clinch the team match point and claim his 100th career singles win.

Both teams carried strong records into the doubles matches to begin the afternoon. Coming into the match, UT was undefeated (14-0) when taking the doubles point while UK was 7-1.

On court two, the Wildcat tandem of freshmen Graeme Dyce and Eric Quigley caught fire in game five against the Volunteer team of Matt Brewer and Smith. With the match tied at two, the Cats took the next five games to go up 7-2. UT made up a break to cut it to 7-5 but the Wildcats closed it out on their serve to win 8-5 and give UK an early advantage.

UK sophomore Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Alex Musialek traded breaks early against Tennessee's Christian Hansen and Bryan Swartz to make it three-all early. Then the Cats dominated the rest of the match by winning the final five games for an 8-3 decision; clinching the doubles point for UK.

It looked like it would be a doubles sweep after Agostinelli and partner Brad Cox led UT's Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago by a 6-1 margin. However, the Volunteers won the next five games to tie the match at six-all. After the doubles point was decided, court one went to a seven-point tiebreak to decide the match. At the first changeover the score was 3-3. Four points later the scoreboard read 5-5 but UT would win the next two points to clinch the breaker and the improbable come-from-behind win.

Musialek increased the Cats lead to 2-0 with a win on court four over Brewer. He took both sets in similar fashion. After a 1-1 start in each set, Musialek rattled off the next five games in both stanzas for the 6-1, 6-1 victory.

On court three, Quigley and Fago began with a 2-2 deadlock before the Wildcat won the final four games to take the first set 6-2. In the second, Quigley used the only service break of the set in game seven to go on to win the match 6-4.

UT cut the score to 3-1 on court two. No. 33 Conkic took the first set 6-0 over Cox for the early advantage. Cox then jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second and later built a 5-2 edge to make Conkic earn his win. But the Volunteer earned a break to get back on-serve at 5-5 and eventually forced a tiebreak. Conkic came out on top in the tiebreaker 7-3 and gave the Volunteers their first team point.

After Agostinelli clinched the team point on court one, Gonzalez retired from his match on court six after leading Tennessee's Christopher Williams 5-0 in the first set to give UT its second point.

Tennessee won its final point on court five. Hansen took the first set 6-1 over Dyce but the second set proved more of a battle. Dyce led 6-5 in the second before Hansen forced a tiebreak. Later, Hansen went on to win the breaker and the match.

"I really felt like Coach Kauffmann did a great job today on some of those courts and he made a big difference in the match in terms of how our guys played," Emery said. "I thought that was a key part of the match. Overall, I think this win really enhances our chances of hosting an NCAA regional and our position to break into the top-10 in the country."

The Cats conclude their regular-season home schedule against No. 5 Georgia on Sunday. The Bulldogs squeaked past No. 52 Vanderbilt 4-3 Friday to improve to 19-2 overall and 8-1 in the SEC.

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Apr. 10, 2009
Lexington, Ky. (Boone Tennis Center)

#14 Kentucky 4, #4 Tennessee 3

1. #5 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) def. #9 John-Patrick Smith (UT) 6-4, 6-3
2. #33 Boris Conkic (UT) def. Brad Cox (UK) 6-0, 7-6(3)
3. Eric Quigley (UK) def. Matteo Fago (UT) 6-2, 6-4
4. Alex Musialek (UK) def. Matt Brewer (UT) 6-1, 6-1
5. Christian Hansen (UT) def. Graeme Dyce (UK) 6-1, 7-6
6. Christopher Williams (UT) def. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 0-5, ret.

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

1. Boris Conkic / Matteo Fago (UT) def. #19 Bruno Agostinelli / Brad Cox (UK) 7-6(5)
2. Graeme Dyce / Eric Quigley (UK) def. Matt Brewer / John-Patrick Smith (UT) 8-5
3. Alberto Gonzalez / Alex Musialek (UK) def. Christian Hansen / Bryan Swartz (UT) 8-3

Order of finish: 2, 3, 1