No. 12 Kentucky to Host ITA Kick-off Weekend at Boone

Jan. 28, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 12 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team hopes to continue its winning ways this weekend when it hosts three of the top teams in the country in No. 22 Wake Forest, No. 30 Wisconsin and No. 42 Boise State in the third-annual Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-off Weekend on Saturday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.

The event will run Saturday through Sunday with each team playing two matches. On Saturday, Wisconsin and Wake Forest to face each other at 10 a.m. to start the day, followed by Boise State and Kentucky at approximately 2 p.m. The winners from Saturday’s matches will face each other Sunday with a chance to earn a spot in the National Indoor Championship. The teams that fall on Saturday will play a consolation match Sunday. Due to travel arraignments, Boise State will play in the 10 a.m. slot on Sunday, while Kentucky will play in the 2 p.m. slot. All times are Eastern.

The 15 men's teams that win both of their matches at the ITA Kick-off Weekend events will be invited to play in the Feb. 18-21 ITA National Men's Team Indoor Championship in Seattle, Wash., hosted by the University of Washington. Washington will fill the 16th spot in the tournament due to hosting the event.

“This kickoff weekend is one of the most exciting weekends of the year,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We felt that last year when we won our regional and qualified for the National Indoors that it really gave us a spring board to the success that we would achieve the rest of the season. Our guys are excited to play at home against some really good teams.”

This will mark the second-consecutive season that the Wildcats have hosted an ITA Kick-off Weekend. Last year, UK defeated Michigan 4-2 and Wake Forest 4-3 to advance to the National Indoors final 16. Seven days after the energetic win, Kentucky would continue its momentum by defeating No. 2 Virginia en route to a school record 25 wins and an appearance in the NCAA Championships round of 16.

The Kentucky regional is one of the hardest in the nation with three teams ranked in the top 30. Only two other regional sites have at least three teams ranked in the top 30. No. 11 Georgia will host No. 20 North Carolina and No. 23 Georgia Tech, while No. 14 Duke has the toughest regional, hosting No. 21 Pepperdine, No. 24 Michigan and No. 25 Virginia Tech.  

Kentucky (4-0) is coming off an exciting win at No. 46 Indiana, taking No. 6 singles in a third-set tiebreaker to win the match 4-3. UK is led this season by junior Eric Quigley, who is the second-ranked player in the nation. UK also boasts No. 39 Alex Musialek and No. 72 Alberto Gonzalez. Senior Brad Cox has played brilliantly for UK so far, scoring a 4-0 singles record with all wins coming in straight sets.

Wake Forest will be playing its season opener against the Badgers on Saturday. The Demon Deacons are paced this year by four players ranked in the ITA top 100. Senior Jonathan Wolff leads Wake Forest with a No. 45 ranking, while sophomore Tripper Carleton comes in ranked 87th. Sophomore Danny Kreyman and senior Ian Atkinson conclude the rankings for Wake Forest, coming in at No. 100 and No. 109 respectively.

The Badgers come in off a solid start to the season, with wins over Butler and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater last Saturday. Wisconsin (2-0) defeated both teams 7-0. UW was ranked 29th in the preseason poll but fell to 30th after the opening week of the season. Wisconsin’s appearance in Lexington marks the return of UK letterwinner and All-American Greg Van Emburgh, who is now the head coach for the Badgers. Van Emburgh was a four-time All-American for the Wildcats, earning singles and doubles honors in both 1987 and 1988.

Boise State (1-1) wraps up the list of quality teams in the Lexington regional. The Broncos started the season with a 6-1 win over Pacific but then fell at No. 26 Washington a day later 2-5. Boise State boasts two singles players in the ITA top 85. Junior Damian Hume is the highest ranked player for the Broncos, coming in at No. 62, while sophomore Flipp Pogotskin is ranked 85th.

Admission to the event is free and parking is available parking structure seven, which is located right next to the Bonne Tennis Complex. The Bonne Tennis Complex is located at the corner for Cooper Drive and Sports Center Drive across from Commonwealth Stadium.

Live scores from each match will be available at UKathletics.com.