Fifth-Ranked Bulldogs Spoil Wildcats' Home Finale

April 12, 2009


The No. 14 Kentucky men’s tennis squad was just the fifth team this season to win the doubles point against No. 5 Georgia, but it was not enough as the Bulldogs regrouped in singles for the 6-1 decision at the Boone Tennis Complex, Sunday.

After UK established an early advantage in doubles, Georgia bounced back with a pair of singles wins to take a 2-1 lead. But the end result of the match remained in doubt with four three-set battles still on the courts. The Bulldogs managed to sweep those contests to secure the win, marking just the second time this season the Cats fell after winning the doubles point.

“We got off to a really good start in the doubles,” said UK head coach Dennis Emery. “I thought it was some of the best doubles action we played all year. I felt we got off to a good start but Georgia seemed to just turn the match around on us. We played with a really good intensity level but we just have to get a little bit tougher mentally against elite teams like Georgia.”

The UK doubles tandem of freshmen Graeme Dyce and Eric Quigley got the Cats rolling on court two. The Wildcats dispatched Georgia’s Javier Garrapiz and Josh Varela with ease, 8-2, to give Kentucky an early advantage.

On court one, a pair of top-20 teams faced off. The No. 9 UGA team of Jamie Hunt and Nate Schnugg carried a 10-match win streak into the contest against UK’s No. 19 duo of senior Bruno Agostinelli and sophomore Brad Cox who had knocked off three top-10 opponents this season.

Both teams held service through the first 11 games of the match, giving UK a 6-5 lead. The Wildcats broke the Bulldogs in the next game to push the score to 7-5 and later served out the match at 8-5 to give Kentucky the doubles point.

UK sophomore Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Alex Musialek battled back from a break down to even their match against Drake Bernstein and Christian Vitulli of UGA at six-all. But UK chose to retire from the match after the doubles point was decided on court one.

In singles play, No. 72 Hunt evened the team points with his 6-2, 6-0 decision over Cox on court two.

On court six, Vitulli gave UGA the lead after a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Gonzalez.

It was a top-10 battle on court one with familiar foes, No. 10 Schnugg and No. 5 Agostinelli. Last fall, Schnugg defeated Agostinelli in a three-set thriller to take the ITA Southeast Regional Singles Championship in Lexington.

Agostinelli sprinted out to a 5-0 lead buoyed by three service breaks in the first. Schnugg then rattled off four straight games to cut the lead to 5-4 before Agostinelli served out the set. Schnugg turned the tables on the Wildcat captain in the second with a 5-0 lead of his own. Agostinelli served out one game before Schnugg clinched the set to force a third. In game three of the deciding set, the Bulldog secured the only service break en route to a 6-4 win.

With Georgia up 3-1, fans’ attention turned to courts three, four and five.

On court three, Quigley and No. 66 Garrapiz played a tight three-setter. Quigley took the only break of the first set in game eight, leading to his 6-4 win. In the second, neither could hold serve as the two traded eight service breaks prior to forcing a tiebreak. Garrapiz used a mini-break for a 4-2 lead at the first changeover of the breaker then went on to win it at 7-4 to force a third set. Garrapiz jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the third and kept the pressure on Quigley throughout the set to earn a 6-1 win and the team match point for Georgia.

Dyce rolled over Bernstein in the first set on court five, 6-1. In the second, Bernstein pulled out a tight tiebreaker that went extra points for a 7-6 win to force a deciding set. Neither could forge a significant lead in the third that came down to a final-set tiebreaker. Bernstein again gained the edge in the breaker to slip past Dyce for the win at 7-6.

Musialek and Varela traded set wins by a 6-3 margin in the first and second. The third set proved to be much closer, going into extra games before Varela came away with the victory at 7-5.

With the win, Georgia (20-2, 9-1) clinched at least a share of the SEC East title and will face Tennessee next weekend to try to win the title outright from the Volunteers.

The Cats conclude their regular-season at No. 52 Vanderbilt next Saturday in Nashville.

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Apr. 12, 2009
Lexington, Ky. (Boone Tennis Complex)

#5 Georgia 6, #14 Kentucky 1


1. #10 Nate Schnugg (UGA) def. #5 Bruno Agostinelli (UK) 4-6, 6-1, 6-4
2. #72 Jamie Hunt (UGA) def. Brad Cox (UK) 6-2, 6-0
3. #66 Javier Garrapiz (UGA def. Eric Quigley (UK) 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-1
4. Josh Varela (UGA) def. Alex Musialek (UK) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
5. Drake Bernstein (UGA) def. Graeme Dyce (UK) 1-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4)
6. Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) 6-4, 6-4

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

1. #19 Bruno Agostinelli / Brad Cox (UK) def. #9 Jamie Hunt / Nate Schnugg (UGA) 8-5
2. Graeme Dyce / Eric Quigley (UK) def. Javier Garrapiz / Josh Varela (UGA) 8-2
3. Drake Bernstein / Christian Vitulli (UGA) def. Alberto Gonzalez / Alex Musialek (UK) 6-6, ret.

Order of finish: 2, 1, 3