Men's Tennis to Host No. 21 Notre Dame, Butler on Thursday
March 16, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The 14th ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team will continue its seven-match home stand Thursday when it hosts No. 21 Notre Dame and Butler in a day-night doubleheader at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Kentucky (13-5, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) will start the action with Notre Dame at 1 p.m. ET, followed by a 7 p.m. ET start with Butler to conclude the day. The Wildcats are 21-0 in non-conference home matches the past two seasons, including an 8-0 mark this season with wins over then-No. 22 Wake Forest, then-No. 38 Miami (Fla.) and then-No. 42 Boise State.
UK enters the match having won seven on it last 10 matches with victories over five top-50 ranked teams during that stretch. All told, Kentucky has faced a top-50 team in 13 of its last 15 matches with an impressive 10-5 record in those matches. The five losses came against some of the best teams in the country as all five teams are currently ranked in the top 10: No. 1 Tennessee, No. 2 Virginia, No. 6 Texas, No. 8 Georgia and No. 9 Illinois.
The Wildcats boast some of the best singles and doubles teams in the nation with four nationally ranked singles players and doubles teams, according to the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings. Junior Eric Quigley leads the rankings at No. 4 in the nation, continuing his stretch of being ranked in the top five in the nation since the initial rankings came out in January. Fellow junior Alex Musialek moved up 10 spots in the rankings to No. 47, while sophomore Anthony Rossi entered the rankings for the first time in his collegiate career at No. 77. Senior Alberto Gonzalez wraps up the rankings at No. 117.
Kentucky is represented well in doubles as well with two tandems earning a spot in the top 50. Freshman Tom Jomby and Gonzalez made an impressive jump from being unranked to 41st in the nation after two solid weeks of play in SEC meets. The duo is 3-0 in SEC play this season with wins over two top-55 ranked tandems, helping Kentucky win the doubles point in its last five matches. Quigley and senior Brad Cox are also ranked in doubles for the first time this season after earning All-America honors last year. The duo enter the rankings at No. 48 after going 2-1 in SEC play with a win against the sixth-ranked doubles team in the nation and a heartbreaking doubles loss to the top-ranked doubles team in a tiebreaker.
Notre Dame (10-6) will pose a serious challenge to the Wildcats, moving up four spots to 21st in the nation in this week’s team rankings. The Fighting Irish are coming off its best win of the season when it knocked off No. 6 Illinois 5-2 in South Bend last week. Notre Dame has been led this season in singles by junior Casey Watt, who is ranked 58th in the nation, while UND has two doubles teams ranked in the top 80. Seniors Stephen Havens and Tyler Davis enter the match ranked 74th, while freshman Ryan Bandy and senior Sean Tan are ranked 78th.
Live scores for both matches will be available at UKathletics.com, while fans can follow the action from the Notre Dame match via a live blog.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, visit UKathletics.com or follow “University of Kentucky men’s tennis team” on Facebook.