Wildcats Split Matches in Midweek Doubleheader
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 20 Kentucky men’s tennis team stepped up late in the day to split a pair of home matches on Wednesday afternoon, falling first to fifth-ranked Ohio State, 4-2, before defeating Xavier, 4-0 at the indoor facility at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center.
Kentucky moves to 16-6 on the season with a 5-3 record in Southeastern Conference play. Ohio State advances to 21-2 on the season, while Xavier moves to 9-7 in 2016.
The Wildcats finish their home slate this weekend, first hosting Texas A&M on Friday, April 8, at 5 p.m. UK will round out its home matches on Sunday, April 10, at 1 p.m. Senior Kevin Lai will be honored at the team’s annual Senior Day ceremony before the beginning of the match.
MATCH ONE: NO. 5 OHIO STATE 4, NO. 18 KENTUCKY 2
Kentucky faced a 4-2 setback in the opening match, facing its second top-five opponent of the season in the fifth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. UK has a 6-6 record in ranked matches this season.
The Wildcats opened up the first with a tightly contested doubles point, but fell short as the duos on the top and third courts were bested, 7-5 and 6-3, respectively.
UK responded quickly, as freshman sensation Ryotaro Matsumura ran over his competition. The Japanese rookie notched his 15th singles victory of the season, taking down No. 65 Chris Diaz, 6-1, 6-1, evening the team score to 1-1.
Ohio State retaliated, as sophomore William Bushamuka conceded his fifth defeat of the season. The sophomore pushed the country’s second best player, Mikael Torpegaard, to a tiebreak in the first set before being blanked in the second.
Freshman Enzo Wallart provided an equalizer for UK, earning his best win to date on the fourth court. The rookie ground it out, upsetting No. 70 Herkko Pollanen, 6-4, 6-4, to tie the match at 2-all.
Junior Nils Ellefsen went three sets, winning the first 6-2, before falling on the third court. The Buckeyes secured the win with a straight-sets victory over sophomore Trey Yates on the fifth court.
#5 Ohio State 4, #20 Kentucky 2
1. #2 Mikael Torpegaard (OSU) def. #25 William Bushamuka (UK) 7-6 (7-5), 6-0
2. #52 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. #65 Chris Diaz (OSU) 6-1, 6-1
3. #26 Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Nils Ellefsen (UK) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
4. Enzo Wallart (UK) def. #70 Herkko Pollanen (OSU) 6-4, 6-4
5. Ralf Steinbach (OSU) def. Trey Yates (UK) 7-5, 6-4
6. Martin Joyce (OSU) vs. Austin Hussey (UK) no result
1. Mikael Torpegaard/Martin Joyce (OSU) def. Nils Ellefsen/Enzo Wallart (UK) 7-5
2. William Bushamuka/Trey Yates (UK) def. Ralf Steinbach/Hunter Tubert (OSU) 6-5
3. Matt Mendez/Hugo Di Feo (OSU) def. Austin Hussey/Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) 6-3
Ohio State 20-2 (5-0 B1G); National ranking #5
Kentucky 15-5 (5-3 SEC); National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (2,1,4,3,5)
MATCH TWO: NO. 18 KENTUCKY 4, XAVIER 0
The Wildcats bounced back in the second match of the day, defeating Xavier 4-X in the latter half of the doubleheader.
Kentucky forewent the doubles point, beginning with singles play and using the doubles point in case of a tie.
Matsumura proved tough to top once again, earning a 6-4, 6-1 win on the top court to help Kentucky jump to a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Austin Hussey extended the lead to 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-4 win on the fourth court. It marked his seventh win of his rookie campaign.
Bushamuka was third to finish, adding another point for UK. After dropping his first set 6-1, the Princeton, N.J., native recharged, dropping just three games for a 1-6, 6-0, 6-3 win on the second court.
Yates closed out the match for the Wildcats with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory to close out the match on the third court. Both sophomore Gus Benson and senior Kevin Lai led when their matches concluded.
#20 Kentucky 4, Xavier 0
1. #52 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) def. Zach Mueck (XU) 6-4, 6-1
2. #25 William Bushamuka (UK) def. Jeremy Schneider (XU) 1-6, 6-0, 6-3
3. Trey Yates (UK) def. Matt Bishop (XU) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
4. Austin Hussey (UK) def. Arthur Stefani (XU) 6-1, 6-4
5. Gus Benson (UK) vs. Jack Dykema (XU) 6-4, 3-0, unfinished
6. Kevin Lai (UK) vs. Gabriel ChavesAraujo (XU) 4-3, 0-0, unfinished
Xavier 9-7 (2-2 Big East)
Kentucky 16-6 (5-3 SEC); National ranking #20
Order of finish: Doubles (); Singles (1,4,2,3)