No. 12 Kentucky Begins SEC Action at No. 31 Ole Miss

March 3, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After a successful beginning to its spring dual-match schedule, the University of Kentucky men's tennis team is set to begin the most difficult portion of its schedule, opening up Southeastern Conference play at No. 31 Ole Miss on Friday at 3 p.m. ET.

After the meet with the Rebels, the Wildcats will continue SEC action in Starkville, Miss., against No. 43 Mississippi State on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

Kentucky (11-3) has had a solid start to the 2011 spring season, earning wins over several ranked foes en route to its second consecutive appearance in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association National Men's Indoor Championships. The Wildcats went 2-1 at the National Indoors with wins over then-No. 14 Texas Tech and then-No. 29 Washington.

So far this season, the Wildcats have faced a total of nine top-50 teams, holding a 6-3 mark in those matches. Including its wins over Texas Tech and Washington, UK has also defeated then-No. 22 Wake Forest, then-No. 38 Miami (Fla.), then-No. 42 Boise State and then-No. 46 Indiana.

The Wildcats are fresh off a 6-1 victory Wednesday over in-state foe Murray State. UK dominated the match with the Racers from beginning to end, winning all three doubles matches and five of the six singles matches by straight sets. Kentucky was led by singles wins from senior Alberto Gonzalez and freshmen Alejandro Gomez, Ryuji Hirooka, Tom Jomby, and Grant Roberts. UK also won the doubles point against Murray State, improving its record to 6-0 this season when winning the doubles point.

Kentucky has been led this season by stellar play from junior Eric Quigley, who is ranked fifth in the nation in the latest ITA singles rankings. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., has an 8-2 record at No. 1 singles for UK this spring, including four wins over players currently ranked in the ITA top 30.

Two other Wildcats enter the weekend with a top-100 ranking with junior Alex Musialek coming in at No. 57 and Gonzalez at No. 86. Musialek went 2-1 for Kentucky at the No. 2 singles position at National Indoors, defeating No. 55 Jean Andersen of Texas and No. 42 Kyle McMorrow of Washington in straight sets. Gonzalez has been extremely impressive as of late, posting a 5-1 record since moving to the No. 4 singles position.

Ole Miss (5-2) enters the match ranked 31st in the nation, with a highly ranked doubles team and two ranked singles players. Juniors Marcel Thiemann and Chris Thiemann are ranked fifth in the nation in doubles, while Marcel is No. 100 in singles. Ole Miss senior Tucker Vorster is ranked 101st in the nation in singles.

Mississippi State will also pose a challenge for the Wildcats as the Bulldogs boast two ranked singles players in No. 73 Louis Cant and No. 92 Artem Ilyushin.

Last year, Kentucky went 2-1 against the Mississippi schools, defeating both Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the regular season before falling in the second round of the SEC Tournament to Ole Miss.

Live scores for both matches will be available at UKathletics.com. For more information on the Kentucky men's tennis team, visit UKathletics.com or follow "University of Kentucky men's tennis team" on Facebook.