No. 21 UK Opens Conference Home Slate against No. 53 Arkansas and No. 41 LSU

March 12, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After an extended five-match road stretch, the Kentucky men's tennis team returns home to the Boone Tennis Center with matches against two ranked foes. The No. 21 Wildcats host No. 53 Arkansas on Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET. On Sunday UK entertains No. 41 LSU at noon and concludes the weekend with a 6:00 p.m. contest against Eastern Kentucky.

UK (8-4, 0-2 SEC) stands at No. 21 in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings released this week after losses to two ranked Southeastern Conference squads on the road last weekend. The Cats are undefeated at home in Boone this season with a 5-0 record.

Senior Bruno Agostinelli is the nation's second-ranked singles player entering the weekend. His ranking is the highest for any Wildcat since Jesse Witten was ranked first nationally in 2003. He carries a 6-3 singles record this season with three wins over top-30 opponents - all away from home. In doubles, Agostinelli is also ranked with sophomore Brad Cox at 20th in the nation.

Freshman Eric Quigley, of Pewee Valley, Ky., is also ranked in singles for the Cats at No. 99 in the country. He carries a 9-2 singles record this season and is coming off two conference wins last weekend. Quigley increased his singles win streak to six matches; giving up five games or less in five of those victories. Eight of Quigley's nine wins have been in straight sets.

Arkansas (6-5, 0-2) visits the Bluegrass after suffering a pair of home losses last weekend to No. 23 Alabama and No. 20 Auburn. Last month, Arkansas strung together a six-match win streak including its only road win of the season at Purdue. Last year, the Kentucky lost to the Arkansas in Fayetteville, 4-2. The SEC foes share one common opponent in No. 1 Virginia. The Cats fell to the Cavaliers 6-1 on the road in early February while the Razorbacks lost 7-0 a week before to begin its season.

Two Arkansas players are ranked in the latest ITA men's singles poll, including No. 15 Blake Strode and No. 120 Matt Hogan. Together, the two ranked Razorbacks form the No. 60 doubles tandem in the country.

LSU (4-4, 0-2) visit UK on Sunday after playing at No. 39 Vanderbilt Friday. The Tigers also dropped home matches to Alabama and Auburn last weekend. Last season the Wildcats fell 4-0 to LSU in Baton Rouge. The teams share one common opponent in Rice. Last month the Cats defeated the Owls 4-3 in a neutral site match before the Tigers knocked off Rice 4-3 six days later at home.

Senior Michael Venus is the only ranked Tiger in the latest ITA men's singles poll at No. 9 in the country. In doubles, Venus and Neal Skupski are ranked 13th in the country.

Eastern Kentucky (8-7) battles the Cats after a 5-2 loss at Jacksonville on Wednesday. The Colonels are led at No. 1 singles by Alex Das Izquierdo who is 9-6 this season. Das Izquierdo and Niklas Schroeder have played the most at No. 1 doubles for EKU with a 5-6 record.

Please visit UKathletics.com for live stats and full recaps of this weekend's action.