UK Senior Wraps Up Impressive Fall Campaign
Nov. 9, 2008
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - University of Kentucky men's tennis senior Bruno Agostinelli battled Nate Schnugg in a final for the second time in three weeks on Sunday. The pair met in the men's singles consolation final of the prestigious Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va.
The Southeastern Conference foes battled through another close match after Agostinelli and Schnugg met last month at the ITA Southeast Regional Championship with the Bulldog pulling out the victory. On Sunday, the two players continued their tight match streak. The rivals went to extra games and a first-set tiebreaker. Schnugg edged the UK senior 7-5 in the breaker to take the first set 7-6. In the second set, the opponents again went into overtime with extra games, but the Bulldog edged the Wildcat 7-5 in the second to take the match.
Agostinelli, the 19th-ranked player in the nation, has battled four top-ten players on six separate occasions during the fall season compiling a 3-3 record. Last week, the UK senior defeated the nation's top-ranked player in the nation at the Fluitt Invitational. This week the Niagara Falls, Canada, native fell to Robert Farah of Southern California, the country's fifth-ranked player, and knocked off No. 17 Conor Pollock of Texas A&M before toppling No. 10 John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee, a 2008 NCAA singles finalist, for the second time this season.
Smith and Agostinelli met last month in the ITA Southeast Regional singles semifinals which Agostinelli won 6-2, 7-5. This time around Smith pushed Agostinelli to extra games and a first-set tiebreaker, but the Wildcat won the breaker 7-4 to take the frame 7-6. The Wildcat used the momentum in the second set to roll to a decisive 6-0 win in the second to advance in the consolation draw.
"Bruno continues to have a great fall and this tournament is another solid performance by him," said UK head coach Dennis Emery. "He is really playing with a lot of heart as well as a lot of skill. It's always a real battle when you beat J.P. Smith because he is such a great player."
Agostinelli took on Virginia's Michael Shabaz in the consolation semifinals in front of a raucous, partisan crowd at UVA. Shabaz is ranked at No. 104 this preseason. Agostinelli used a couple of service breaks to win the first set 6-3. But the Cavalier came back to take the second set 6-4 to force a third. The marathon final set went into extra games and a tiebreaker to decide the match. Agostinelli held firm after the breaker went to extra points after a 6-all changeover. The Wildcat took three of the next four points to clinch the match 9-7 in the breaker and win the match at 7-6 in the third.
"Again, Bruno played a very solid match and fought off a determined Shabaz who came from a break down twice in the third set," said Emery. "This was a great win for him in a hostile environment."
The Wildcats continue their season after New Year's Day with a trip to Hawaii in early January.
Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for all of the latest Kentucky men's tennis news.