No. 14 Kentucky Travels to No. 11 Illinois Wednesday

April 7, 2009

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - With just two weeks left in the regular season, the No. 14 Kentucky men's tennis team will face No. 11 Illinois in the Wildcats' final non-conference match of the season Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET on the Atkins Tennis Center courts, the home of the Illini in Champaign, Ill.

UK (14-7, 4-4 SEC) dropped one spot in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings this week after losses to No. 2 Ole Miss and No. 3 Ohio State and a road win at No. 69 Mississippi State.

UK senior Bruno Agostinelli is the nation's fifth-ranked singles. He carries a 12-5 singles record this season with six wins over top-30 opponents. In doubles, Agostinelli is also ranked with sophomore Brad Cox at 19th in the nation.

Illinois (16-5) returns home after three Big Ten road wins last week against No. 53 Indiana, No. 58 Iowa and No. 33 Minnesota. Illinois is currently tied for first place in the conference with Ohio State boasting a perfect 6-0 record.

Kentucky and Illinois share four common opponents this season. Both teams lost matches at No. 1 Virginia early in the season and won contests against Indiana. But the Illini have dropped 4-3 matches against two opponents that UK has defeated on the road this season: Tennessee and No. 20 Notre Dame. Last season, Illinois defeated UK 4-2 in Lexington.

Three Illinois players are ranked in the latest ITA men's singles poll including No. 39 Dennis Nevolo, No. 42 Roy Kalmanovich and No. 79 Marc Spicijaric. The Illini also have three doubles teams in the rankings led by Nevolo and partner Ruan Roelofse at No. 18, just one spot ahead of UK's Agostinelli and Cox.

The Illini are the first of three top-11 opponents that the Cats will face over the next five days. After battling the No. 11 Illini, the Cats will return to Lexington to host No. 4 Tennessee on Friday and wrap up their regular-season home schedule against No. 5 Georgia on Sunday.

The Southeastern Conference boasts four of the top 10 teams in the country including No. 2 Ole Miss, No. 4 Tennessee, No. 5 Georgia and No. 10 Florida. UK has already defeated the fourth-ranked Volunteers on the road in non-conference play this season.

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