Agostinelli's NCAA Run Ends in the Quarterfinals

May 23, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Kentucky men's tennis senior Bruno Agostinelli's bid to advance to the semifinals of the 2009 NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships was cut short by Ohio State's Steven Moneke 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, Saturday at Texas A&M University's Mitchell Tennis Center.

In the first set, Moneke used an early service break in the second game to take the advantage en route to a 6-3 win. Agostinelli bounced back in the second. After the score was knotted at 2-2, Agostinelli won the next four games to win the set 6-2.

In the deciding set, Moneke broke Agostinelli's serve in game one to gain the advantage. Both players held serve over the next five games but Moneke broke again in game seven to go up 5-2. The Buckeye then served out the match for the three-set win at 6-2.

"I thought it was another really good match today," UK head coach Dennis Emery said. "Moneke has had a great year. He is a solid player and was little bit more explosive off of the forehand side. I didn't think Bruno played as well in the first set but he came back and found a way to win the second set. In the third he also had some opportunities. I thought Bruno made a really good effort today; typical of his career."

Ironically, it is the second straight season that Moneke has ended Agostinelli's season. Last year, Moneke ousted Agostinelli in the first round of the 2008 Men's Tennis Singles Championships 6-3, 6-4, in a match that continued a long and contentious rivalry.

The name Moneke may sound familiar to Blue and White fans because the Buckeye is the former top-ranked player Agostinelli defeated during the 2007 campaign 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, in a regular-season match in Columbus.

Later that year, at the Polo All-American Championships in the fall of 2007, the rivals met in a first-round consolation match when Moneke was ranked No. 2 in the nation. Agostinelli won the rematch 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. The familiar foes were scheduled to meet again during the regular season in February 2008 but a winter storm kept Ohio State from traveling to Lexington and the match was later canceled.

With the loss, Agostinelli concludes the year with a 37-14 overall record during his senior season. The Wildcat captain was the last of the top eight seeds to lose on the men's side after the top seed lost earlier in the day.

Agostinelli became the latest Kentucky player to advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championships in recent history. The last Wildcat to accomplish that feat was Jesse Witten during the 2005 season. Witten also advanced to the 2002 men's championship game during his freshman campaign. In 2000, former Wildcat Carlos Drada advanced to the championship match.

The 2009 Southeast Region ITA Senior Player of the Year battled 25 other NCAA selections 32 times this season while recording a solid 18-14 record. Nine of those victories and 11 of those losses were against gentlemen seeded in the top 16 in this year's tournament.

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