Men's Tennis Caps Off Opening Weekend of Fall Action
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky men's tennis team, under the direction of third-year head coach Cedric Kauffmann capped of its opening weekend of fall action on Sunday afternoon, headlined by junior Beck Pennington winning his flight at the 2014 Fab Four Invite in Durham, N.C.
"Overall, we did as I expected," Kauffmann said. "We had some ups and downs, which is normal for a young team who has not played a lot of matches. We had a nice start to the season by Beck (Pennington) and Gus (Benson) this weekend. We have a long and hard road ahead but I feel that this team is ready to put in the work that will be needed to get us to where we will need to be in May."
Pennington won the White singles draw at the Fab Four in Durham, N.C., winning all three of his matches to take the title. In the final on Sunday, Pennington won over the Blue Devils' Bruno Semenzato, 6-3, 6-2. Pennington only dropped one set the entire weekend, defeating Nicholas Osterling of Wake Forest on Friday, 6-3, 7-5, and both of his matches on Saturday, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 over Charlotte's Jordi Massalle Ferrer before then advancing to the finals by beating Michal Voscek of VCU 6-3, 7-5.
"I have to congratulate Beck for winning his match and his flight," Kauffmann said. "He fought off some really tough matches early in the draw and finally hit his stride in the final."
Jake Stefanik, one of five newcomers for the Wildcats in 2014-15, won third place in the consolation singles of the blue draw, winning today over Toni Battle of VCU, 6-4, 6-3.
Gus Benson, another newcomer for UK, also had a strong showing at the Southern Intercollegiate this weekend at the Dan Magill Tennis Center in Athens, Ga.
Benson advanced to Sunday's semifinals by winning two three-set matches along the way. Benson won over Anderson Scarpa of Mercer, 6-4, 6-0 on Friday before a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 win over Ignacio Hernandez from Armstrong College on Saturday morning. In the round of 16, Benson advanced into the quarterfinals with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Lipscomb's Daniel Hernandez.
Kentucky's fall season continues next weekend, with UK splitting into two squads again. Half of the team will travel to Champaign, Ill., for the Illinois Tournament, with the other set of players making the venture to Lafayette, La., for the Louisiana Invite.
For continuing coverage of UK men's tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.