Wildcats Bounce Back at Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After a tough loss in last week’s outing to No. 21 Northwestern, the Kentucky men’s tennis team saw their hard work in practice pay off on Sunday morning, sweeping No. 31 Notre Dame, 4-0, in the Eck Tennis Center.
“We had to mix it up in the doubles,” remarked fifth-year head coach Cedric Kauffmann. “It wasn't an easy decision on what teams we needed to move around, but it paid off today.
The lineup change in doubles proved beneficial, as Kentucky came out with plenty of energy against the Fighting Irish, kicking the match off with a gritty performance. Freshman duo Ryotaro Matsumura and Enzo Wallart struck first for UK, besting Grayson Broadus and Quentin Monaghan, 6-4. Following the win on the second court, UK’s top duo in William Bushamuka and Nils Ellefsen fell, 6-4, leaving the doubles point in the hands of sophomore Gus Benson and senior Kevin Lai. The duo performed admirably in their first ever match together, locking up the doubles point with a 6-4 win.
“Gus and Kevin complemented each other well and Ryo and Enzo closed out a good team,” Kauffmann continued.
"I was very happy with our energy in the doubles,” assistant coach Matt Emery added. “We switched up a couple things, and the guys really responded. When we get the doubles point, we are very difficult to beat."
UK continued to find success in singles play, with three straight wins to clinch the match in a sweep. First to finish was sophomore Trey Yates on the fifth court, earning a commanding 6-4, 6-2 win over Eric Schnurrenberger. Matsumura followed Yates, defeating Alex Lawson, 7-5, 6-2, on the second court. Junior Nils Ellefsen secured the win on the third court, earning a straight-set victory, 6-4, 6-4 over Eddy Covalschi.
“Everyone came out to play,” Kauffmann said on singles action. “To win all each of the first sets is a tough thing to do on the road. I am proud of the boys. Ryo, Nils and Trey played well and closed out the match very quickly. They took care of business.
"I was really proud of the matches I saw on the top three singles courts,” Emery said “They came to play from the first point and never looked back.
"I was very proud of Trey Yates today as well, getting a big win for us at No. 5 singles. He has been so close in so many matches this year, and it was great to see it all come together for him today."
With the win, the Wildcats moves to 7-2 on the season. The loss for Notre Dame drops them to 5-5 in 2016.
Kentucky will play next on Friday, Feb. 26, hosting Indiana in another top-50 matchup. The match will be held in the Boone Tennis Center and is slated for a 6 p.m. start time.
“We are getting better every week and that's our goal,” Kauffmann said. “This team will be one of the best teams in the country if we continue getting better and we believe in one another.”
#47 Kentucky 4, #31 Notre Dame 0
Singles (Order of Finish: 5, 2, 3)
1. #51 Quentin Monaghan (ND) vs. #25 William Bushamuka (UK) 4-6, 4-3, unfinished
2. Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. Alex Lawson (ND) 7-5, 6-2
3. Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Eddy Covalschi (ND) 6-4, 6-4
4. Josh Hagar (ND) vs. Enzo Wallart (UK) 1-6, 5-5, unfinished
5. Trey Yates (UK) def. Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) 6-4, 6-2
6. Grayson Broadus (ND) vs. Chalres Minc (UK) 6-7 (5-7), 4-1, unfinished
Doubles (Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2)
1. Eddy Covalschi/Alex Lawson (ND) def. Nils Ellefsen/William Bushamuka (UK) 6-4
2. Ryotaro Matsumura/Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Grayson Broadus/Quentin Monaghan (ND) 6-4
3. Gus Benson/Kevin Lai (UK) def. Josh Hagar/Eric Schnurrenberger (ND) 6-4
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.