No. 10 Men's Tennis Returns Home to Face South Carolina, Florida
April 1, 2010
Currently riding a three-match winning streak, the 10th-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team returns home to face two ranked Southeastern Conference foes in No. 38 South Carolina on Friday and No. 6 Florida on Sunday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. The two matches this weekend start a four-match homestand for Kentucky that features three top-40 ranked teams (No. 6 Florida, No. 38 South Carolina and No. 15 Illinois).
Kentucky (14-6, 4-2) is coming off a 5-2 win over Alabama last week in Tuscaloosa, Ala., that served as a milestone for UK head coach Dennis Emery who recorded his 500th victory at Kentucky. Included in UK's current three-match win streak are victories against then-No. 56 Auburn and then-No. 45 Miami (Fla.).
Kentucky has been ranked among the top 10 teams in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings for eight consecutive weeks. The Wildcats boast two ranked singles players in sophomores Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek. Quigley, who has been a staple at the No. 1 singles position, ranks 13th in the latest ITA poll while Musialek comes in at No. 44. Quigley and doubles partner Brad Cox rank 13th in doubles.
UK and South Carolina (9-7, 1-5 SEC) will do battle for the first time this season. Last year, Kentucky fell 5-2 to the 31st-ranked Gamecocks in Columbia, S.C. The two schools have battled back-and-forth in recent years with Kentucky winning the only meetings in 2007 and 2008 and USC posting the win in 2006. Dating back to the 2002 season, Kentucky is 6-2 against the Gamecocks with the only losses coming in South Carolina.
The Gamecocks have two ranked doubles tandems with No. 66 Pedro Campos and Diego Cubas and No. 70 Cubas and Machado. USC also has two ranked singles players in No. 59 Cubas and No. 79 Campos. USC is coming off two wins last week with a 5-2 victory at then-No. 33 Clemson and a 4-2 win at then-No. 43 Mississippi State.
Kentucky will wrap up the weekend on Sunday with Florida (13-2, 5-0 SEC), who is undefeated in SEC play this season. The Gators took down the Wildcats in their only meeting of the season last year, 4-3 in Gainesville, Fla. Kentucky has a nine-game losing streak against Florida dating back to the 2003 season. The Wildcats' last win against the Gators came in 2002 in Lexington. UF carries an eight-match win streak into its contest Friday at Vanderbilt before making the trip to Lexington.
Florida has one ranked singles player in No. 7 Alexandre Lacroix, but the Gators have two ranked doubles pairs in No. 12 Lacroix and Antoine Benneteau and No. 49 Sekou Bangoura and Joey Burkhardt.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Friday, prior to the South Carolina match, as Emery will be recognized for achieving 500 career victories at Kentucky.