No. 12 Kentucky Travels East to Face No. 1 Virginia
Feb. 4, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After snapping Virginia’s 63-match regular-season winning streak last season in Lexington, the No. 12 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team looks for another résumé-building win, traveling to Charlottesville, Va., to take on the No. 1 Cavaliers on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
Kentucky (6-0) and Virginia battled last year to the very last point with the Wildcats able to pull out the historic win over then-No. 2 Virginia 4-3. Kentucky, which was ranked 14th when they faced UVA in 2010, won the doubles point and got straight-set singles wins from Eric Quigley, Alex Musialek and Alberto Gonzalez to pull off the upset. Quigley took down No. 12 Sanam Singh, while Musialek defeated No. 3 Michael Shabaz. Gonzalez sealed the UK win by defeating No. 28 Lee Singer in a second-set tiebreaker.
“When we won this match last year it really set us up to do a lot of good things the rest of the season,” head coach Dennis Emery said. “That win last year was a program changer for us and I hope that we can match our intensity and professionalism that we had last year in playing this match.”
The Wildcats enter the match fresh off an impressive performance in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kick-off Weekend, where they defeated No. 22 Wake Forest and No. 42 Boise State. UK has been led so far this year by Quigley and senior Brad Cox. Quigley, ranked second in the nation, is 3-0 in singles this spring, while Cox is 6-0 with all six wins coming in straight sets. Kentucky has also used strong starts from No. 39 Musialek and No. 72 Gonzalez, while sophomore Anthony Rossi and freshman Grant Roberts have been solid for UK at the bottom of the singles rotation.
“We feel like we have a team that is athletic enough to be able to challenge Virginia, where a lot of teams aren’t athletic enough to do that,” Emery said. “I love that we are coming together as a team and that we don’t have any holes or gaps in our lineup.”
Virginia (6-0) enters the match on a school-record 80-match home winning streak. UVA begins the weekend with its Atlantic Coach Conference opener against No. 71 Maryland on Friday at 5 p.m. ET. The Cavaliers have wins this year against No. 16 Illinois, No. 26 Notre Dame, No. 49 East Tennessee State, No. 57 Cornell and No. 72 William and Mary. UVA is led by No. 3 Alex Domijan, No. 10 Singh, No. 17 Drew Courtney, No. 19 Jarmere Jenkins and No. 27 Shabaz. Virginia also has two doubles tandems ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
“Virginia is going to be ready to play, especially at home,” Emery said. “They average around 1,000 fans a match and they are noted as being one of the best indoor teams in the country. We understand that we are going to be playing to their strengths: indoors and at their place. We are going to have to be flying on all cylinders to keep it close and hopefully have a chance to win it in the end.”
Live scores for the match will be available on UKathletics.com. For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team visit UKathletics.com.