Quigley Loses Three-Set Thriller at ITA National Indoors

Nov. 5, 2009


In the final first-round match to finish on the courts of Yale University's Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center, Kentucky men's tennis sophomore Eric Quigley lost a heartbreaker to Virginia's Michael Shabaz 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) at the 2009 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships Thursday evening.

Quigley will face Damian Hume of Collin College in a first-round consolation match at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday. A live stats link will be available for Quigley's match on the UKathletics.com men's tennis schedule page.

The match between No. 70 Quigley and No. 14 Shabaz was the most competitive contest of the first round as one of just four to go three sets and the only to be decided by a third-set tiebreaker. The eighth-seeded Wildcat cruised in the first set to a 6-2 win.

Midway through the second set, Shabaz held a 4-3 lead. Quigley continued to battle and knotted the score at 5-5 to force extra games. The Cavalier then combined a service break and hold of serve to claim the next two games and the set at 7-5.

In the deciding set, Quigley led early 1-0. Shabaz regained the advantage at 2-1 after three. Quigley went on to win three of the next four games to lead 4-3 and get back on serve. The Cavalier held to force extra games at 5-all. This time the opponents split the next two games to force a third-set tiebreak at 6-all. Shabaz completed the come-from-behind win by taking the tiebreak at 7-3 for the 7-6 final set victory.

The match marked the second meeting between Quigley and Shabaz in nine months. On Feb. 6, Shabaz contained Quigley 6-3, 6-3 at UVA's Boyd Tinley Courts. The foes could meet again exactly one year later when the Cavaliers invade Lexington on Feb. 6, 2010.

Fourteen of nation's top-25 players will compete in the four-day championship. The tourney consists of a 32-man draw that includes each of the 12 regional champions as well as the four semifinalists from the ITA All-American Championships among other selections.

Quigley earned an automatic bid to the National Indoors after claiming the singles title at the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships inside Indiana University's Indoor Tennis Center in Bloomington, Ind., last week.

The Pewee Valley, Ky., native joined an exclusive group of former Wildcats who have competed at the National Indoors. Last season Bruno Agostinelli played in the Championships, advancing to the consolation final after dropping a first-round match. In 2004, Jesse Witten became the first UK player to advance to the National Indoor singles final. Additionally, current UK associate head coach Cedric Kauffmann advanced to the 1996 Championship semifinals before bowing out.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for Quigley's match recaps all weekend.

November 5, 2009
New Haven, Conn. (Cullman-Heyman Tennis Center)
Yale University
ITA Indoor National Championship

Main Draw Singles - First Round

#14 Michael Shabaz (UVA) def. #70 Eric Quigley (UK) 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(3)