No. 7 Men's Tennis Greets No. 29 Indiana, EKU in Home Opener
Jan. 23, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After earning two dominating victories Sunday to begin its dual-match season, the No. 7 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team kick off the home portion of its 2012 spring schedule with a doubleheader against No. 29 Indiana and Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Kentucky (2-0) begins the home opener with a showdown against Indiana at 1 p.m. ET before completing the day with a 7 p.m. match against in-state rival EKU. Admission to all UK men’s tennis home matches is free of charge, while a live interactive blog will be available for fans on UKathletics.com during the Indiana match. Live up-to-the-minute scores will also be posted on UKathletics.com.
“We are looking forward to playing a great Indiana team tomorrow,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “It was a great match last year at their place. Grant Roberts really saved the win for us by winning in a third-set tiebreaker in what was really his first collegiate match. IU returns basically the same team from last year and we know that they are going to come in here hungry and eager to avenge last year’s loss. We have to be ready to play.”
The Wildcats are coming off a great opening weekend of the dual-match season, earning a 6-1 win over No. 53 Michigan State and a 7-0 win over host IUPUI. UK played well in both matches, winning five of its six doubles matches and 11 of its 12 singles matches. Senior Eric Quigley and sophomores No. 111 Alejandro Gomez and Grant Roberts each posted two singles wins on the day, while junior No. 36 Anthony Rossi and sophomores No. 95 Tom Jomby, Ryuji Hirooka and Maks Gold, each earned a win in their lone singles match of the day. Freshman Brett Johnson also added a singles win in his first career collegiate match.
“Tomorrow will be an interesting day of matches for us because it comes at a weird time in our schedule,” Emery said. “We are coming off a road trip to Indianapolis to start the season and then have tomorrow’s matches, all while we start to get ready for the ITA Kickoff coming up this weekend. Part of being a Division-I athlete is about preparing yourself and getting yourself focused for the task ahead. Our guys are going to have to do that very well this week.”
Quigley, who is ranked fifth in the nation in singles by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, moved his career singles record to 143-44 with two wins Sunday. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., is now only one win shy of tying Paul Varga’s school-record 144 career singles wins. Varga, who played from 1982-85, ended his career with a 144-80 record.
The Wildcats are represented well in the current ITA rankings, coming in at No. 7 in the team rankings, which will be updated Tuesday afternoon. Individually, UK has six ranked singles players, more than any other school in the nation. Quigley leads the way at No. 5, while fellow senior and co-captain Alex Musialek is No. 13. Rossi is ranked 36th in the nation, while sophomore Panav Jha is 85th, Jomby is 95th and Gomez is 111th.
Indiana enters Tuesday with a 2-0 record after opening its season Sunday with a pair of 7-0 wins over Western Michigan and Toledo in Bloomington, Ind. The Hoosiers had a record-breaking 2011 season, setting a school record for dual meet wins in a season en route to an NCAA Tournament appearance. IU also finished second in the Big Ten last season with only one conference loss.
Eastern Kentucky makes its way to Lexington for its second dual match of the season after falling in its season opener 6-1 at No. 13 Tennessee. The Colonels, who have won three straight Ohio Valley Conference regular-season titles, are led by a veteran group of six seniors, including five seniors who were in the starting rotation a year ago. EKU has won 23 consecutive OVC regular-season matches and advanced to the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.
Kentucky leads the all-time series against both teams, holding a 26-3 record against Indiana and a 38-3 record against EKU, including wins against both teams last season. The Wildcats have won eight of their last nine against IU, including a 4-3 thriller last season in Bloomington, that ended with Roberts winning a third-set tiebreaker to break a 3-3 tie and give UK its fourth win of the season.
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