No. 2 Texas A&M Eliminates Kentucky in SEC Tournament Semifinals
April 19, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 2 seeded Texas A&M Aggies used the doubles point and three singles wins on courts three, four and six to advance into Sunday’s championship match of the 2014 Southeastern Conference Tournament at the Curry Tennis Center in Nashville, Tenn., knocking out the Wildcats in the semifinals.
“I’m disappointed with the outcome of this match," UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. "I thought the doubles point was important, but not a killer. We had the lead, but they are both good teams and the match on one could have gone either way. We talked in the locker room about playing all six singles matches and after a rough start the first five to 10 minutes, we played better. We were not able to close out the first set on four and six and not able to come back at three, but we had our chances. I’m also disappointed at myself. I should have had them more ready to play and do something special. There was no difference in talent, and Texas A&M wanted it more than we did, and that’s my fault."
The 2014 NCAA Men’s Tennis Selection Show will be on April 29 at 5 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on NCAA.com. The top 16 seeded teams will receive the right to host a regional and the First and Second Rounds at their home site. Entering this week’s SEC Tournament, Kentucky was No. 12 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.
Texas A&M got two wins in the doubles on courts one and two to clinch the early lead for the Aggies. On court one, the Wildcats’ duo of Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai got ahead an early break at 2-0 but were broken right back at 4-4 and then found themselves down a break later in the match. Texas A&M then served for the match at 7-6 and won 8-6. Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez were unable to hold serve in an 8-1 loss to No. 66 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant on court two.
Kentucky would fire back in singles taking three first sets, and only needing to flip one court as the Wildcats won the first set on courts one, two and five. Grant Roberts on court six was up 5-4 in the tiebreak on court six after dropping serve at 5-4 in the first set and lost the last three points to drop the set.
Kevin Lai tied the match at 1-1 overall as he beat Jackson Withrow 6-2, 6-4 on court five to square the match. Lai went ahead an early break in the first set and then served out the win, before leading 5-4 in the second set and breaking Withrow for the first time all set to collect the 6-2, 6-4 win on court five.
Texas A&M would then collect singles wins on courts four, six and three to close out the match.
On court four, Jerry Lopez was up a break early in the first set at 4-3, but lost three of the last four games of the set to fall 6-4 in the opening frame. Lopez then dropped serve early in the second set, as Texas A&M won the match there on four.
In court six, Grant Roberts was ahead at 5-4 and serving for the first set, but was broken to force five all and after two service holds, the opening set would go into a tiebreak. Roberts was up 5-3 in the tiebreaker, but lost the last few points and the set. In the second set, Roberts was broken twice and lost the second frame, 6-1.
The clinching match came on court three as Beck Pennington dropped a tight two-set match to No. 57 Jeremy Efferding 6-4, 7-6 (1). Pennington was receiving in the second set at 6-5, but broke at love to collect the game and force a tiebreak. Pennington held for the 1-0 lead but lost the next seven-straight points to fall 7-1.
Tom Jomby and Alejandro Gomez both won their first sets, but lost their second sets as both matches on courts one and two were in third sets at the time of the clinch. Jomby was on serve at 3-2 and Gomez trailed a break at 1-3 when the match was clinched.
SEC Tournament – Quarterfinals
(2) Texas A&M 4, (3) Kentucky 1
Curry Tennis Center – Nashville, Tenn.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Match Duration: 3:01
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 1*)
1- No. 5 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (TAMU) def. No. 39 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) 8-6
2- No. 66 Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (TAMU) def. Beck Pennington/Alejandro Gomez (UK) 8-1
3- Nils Ellefsen/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) led No. 78 Jeremy Efferding/Jason Szabo (TAMU) 6-4 (DNF)
Singles (Order of finish: 5, 4, 6, 3*)
1- No. 11 Tom Jomby (UK) led No. 14 Harrison Adams (TAMU) 6-4, 4-6, 3-2 (DNF)
2- No. 23 Shane Vinsant (TAMU) led No. 80 Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-7 (5), 6-0, 3-1
3- No. 57 Jeremy Efferding (TAMU) def. Beck Pennington (UK) 6-3 7-6 (1)
4- Junior Ore (TAMU) def. Jerry Lopez (UK) 6-4, 6-3
5- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Jackson Withrow (TAMU) 6-2, 6-4
6- Jordan Szabo (TAMU) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 7-6 (5), 6-1
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