Men's Tennis Opens 2015 With Dayton, EKU on Thursday
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team will begin its season on Thursday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center with a doubleheader against the Dayton Flyers and the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. The first match with UD will commence at Noon ET, with the back end of the doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. ET.
Fans are encouraged to attend both matches, and per usual, will be free of charge for all attendees.
“We are excited to start the season,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said, who will be entering his third year at the helm of the tennis program at Kentucky. “We have prepared well, and the boys have worked really hard to this point. We have a talented team that is very young and not very experienced at all. We also have a lot of shoes to fill in at the top, but that is not an excuse. If they decide or believe to be an excellent team, then we will be. We have talked about having growing pains or starting off the year the right way. Within the next two weeks, we will know a lot more about our young team.”
Kentucky is one of only six schools in the country which has made the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 each of the last five years, solidifying the Wildcats as a top program in the country. The Wildcats will be filling the shoes of five seniors, including four players who were regularly in the starting six of singles, and three in the starting doubles lineup from a year ago, which finished in the top 16 of the rankings for a fifth straight season.
The Wildcats do return a lot of young power, led by junior Beck Pennington, who will begin the season ranked No. 92 nationally to start the season. Pennington a season ago went 14-12 overall in singles and 13-8 in doubles to vastly improve himself from his freshman campaign in 2012-13. Last season, Pennington knocked off three ranked opponents playing in the No. 3 and No. 2 singles slot, while combining with departed seniors Ryuji Hirooka and Alejandro Gomez to post a 13-8 record.
Kentucky will begin the season ranked No. 18 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s national team rankings. It marks the fifth-straight season that the Wildcats will have begun the season ranked inside the top 20. In the initial rankings of the ITA top 25, there are seven teams from the Southeastern Conference, the most of any league in the country.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow “UKMensTennis” on Twitter or “University of Kentucky men’s tennis team” on Facebook.