Men's Tennis: Wildcats Rank 14th in ITA Preseason Poll

Jan. 11, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After an impressive fall campaign, the Kentucky men’s tennis team was honored this week with a preseason ranking of 14th in the ITA Division I Men’s National Rankings. In addition to the team rankings, two players were tabbed in the top 40 in singles and one doubles team was ranked in the top 10.

“It’s good to see our players and team earn these rankings because these rankings are based on performance and show the results of some hard work on their part,” Kentucky head coach Dennis Emery said. “We just need to keep getting better if we want to achieve our individual and team goals.”

As a team, the Wildcats ended the 2008-09 season with a final ITA ranking of 15th, and head into this year’s spring schedule with a ranking of 14th. The rankings are based off individual fall performances. The ITA does not release fall team rankings.

Individually, Kentucky boasts two players in the nation’s top 40 in singles play with sophomores Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek sitting at No. 8 and No. 39, respectfully. Quigley, who won the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Championships this fall, started the fall season ranked 70th. The Pewee Valley, Ky., native’s jump to No. 8 in the rankings exemplifies the fall season that he had. Quigley posted one of the best fall seasons a sophomore has ever posted at UK.

The 2009 All-SEC selection qualified and won three matches in the main draw of the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., highlighted by his victory over then-No. 1 Oleksandr Nedovyesov of Oklahoma State. Quigley defeated two other top-30 players in Oklahoma before losing in the quarterfinals. The sophomore sensation also represented the United States of America in the Master’U BNP Paribas, winning several points for the Americans, who claimed the tournament title.

Fellow sophomore Alex Musialek, who was not ranked in the fall singles rankings, also had an incredible fall season. The native of Dax, France, went 6-3 this fall season while claiming the Crimson Tide Fall Championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. On his way to the tournament title, Musialek beat then-No. 2 J.P Smith of Tennessee in a three-set thriller, 7-6, 2-6, 7-6. Musialek then claimed the championship when he defeated Charlie Jones of Vanderbilt, 6-3, 6-4.

Kentucky also boasts a top-10 doubles team in junior Brad Cox and Quigley. The duo’s No. 9 preseason ranking is believed to be the highest preseason doubles ranking for a Kentucky tandem since John Yancy and Ian Skidmore in 1991.

Cox, a native of Duluth, Ga., and Quigley only lost three times this fall, posting a 7-3 doubles record. The two made it to the semifinals of the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Champions before being defeated by Tennessee’s top-ranked doubles team.

Kentucky will participate in the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships Jan. 15-18 in Atlanta. UK plays host to Xavier (noon) and Morehead State (6 p.m.) in its first dual matches of the 2010 campaign on Jan. 23 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.