No. 13 UK Duels No. 5 Ohio State in Mid-Week Match
March 31, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 13 Kentucky men's tennis team begins a treacherous part of its schedule when the Wildcats host fifth-ranked Ohio State at the Boone Tennis Complex at 3:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
UK (13-5, 3-3 SEC) remained in the same position in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings this week after a split weekend; defeating No. 27 Auburn on the road after a loss to No. 15 Alabama at home.
The Buckeyes are the first of four top-five opponents that the No. 13 Cats will face over the next two weeks. OSU (20-1) comes into the match with impressive numbers including a 12-match win streak. The Buckeyes have shut out 10 of their last 12 opponents. Ohio State's lone loss this season came at the National Indoor quarterfinals to No. 4 Tennessee, a team the Cats defeated on the road last month.
"This match will be a great challenge for us at home," UK head coach Dennis Emery. "Ohio State's top six singles players all rank in the top 100. They were the preseason number one team and they are one of the favorites to win the National Championship. This is the first of several tough upcoming matches for us."
After battling the No. 5 Buckeyes, the Cats will travel to No. 2 Ole Miss on Friday. After wrapping up the weekend in Starkville, Miss., against No. 60 Mississippi State, UK returns home to host No. 4 Tennessee and No. 3 Georgia the following weekend.
The Southeastern Conference has three of the top four teams in the nation including No. 2 Ole Miss, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Tennessee. The tenth-ranked Florida Gators increases the SEC team total to four of the top 10 nationally. UK has already defeated the fourth-ranked Volunteers on the road in non-conference play this season.
UK senior Bruno Agostinelli remains the nation's fifth-ranked singles in the latest rankings released Tuesday. He carries an 11-4 singles record this season with five wins over top-30 opponents. In doubles, Agostinelli is also ranked with sophomore Brad Cox at 19th in the nation.
Kentucky freshman Eric Quigley comes into the match on an eleven-match win streak; surrendering just five games or less in nine of those victories. He carries a 14-2 singles record in the dual match season and is undefeated in the Southeastern Conference at 6-0 all at the No. 3 slot. Of his 14 wins, 13 have been in straight sets. As a result, he has been the first singles winner off of the court for UK in the last seven matches he has played, including all six SEC contests.
Kentucky and Ohio State share three common opponents this season. Besides the loss to Tennessee, OSU has swept shared foes No. 22 Notre Dame and No. 34 LSU at home in Columbus. Last season's match between the Cats and Buckeyes was cancelled due to winter weather and poor travel conditions.
Six OSU players are ranked in the latest ITA men's singles poll, led by three players in the top 20: No. 4 Bryan Koniecko; No. 8 Steven Moneke and No. 18 Justin Kronauge. The Buckeyes also have four doubles teams in the rankings led by Moneke and partner Balazs Novak at No. 36.
The first 50 fans attending the OSU match tomorrow will receive a UK cook-out voucher for a free hamburger or hot dog along with a soda or water, beginning approximately at 4:30 p.m.
Please visit UKathletics.com for live stats and a full recap of tomorrow's match.