Wildcats Travel to No. 1 Virginia for Sunday Matinee
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Off to a perfect 4-0 start, the Kentucky Wildcats men’s tennis team will face likely its biggest challenge of the season on Sunday, Jan. 31, where the team will travel to Charlottesville, Va., to face the nation’s top team and defending national champions University of Virginia. The match is slated to begin at noon.
Last time UK took to the courts, the Wildcats earned a 4-3 win over Michigan on their home turf. The win over the Wolverines marks the second time in the past three seasons that Kentucky has opened the dual season at 4-0.
After taking the doubles point, the Wildcats clinched the match with victories on the top three courts. Junior Nils Ellefsen was the first to finish for Kentucky, besting Carter Lin on the third court, 6-2, 6-0. Freshman Ryotaro Matsumura followed up Ellefsen’s performance with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Davis Crocker on the second court. Sophomore William Bushamuka clinched the match with a 6-4, 6-4 win on court No. 1, beating Jathan Malik for the 4-0 team lead.
Kentucky boasts a pair of ranked singles players and one ranked doubles team in the preseason polls. Bushamuka highlights the Wildcats talent, ranked in both singles and doubles play. Bushamuka ranks No. 79 in the nation headed into the season in singles play, while he and senior Beck Pennington make up the 58th-ranked doubles pair in Division I. Ellefsen also is ranked in singles play, coming in at No. 117 in the country.
Virginia is one of two teams to have two singles players ranked in the top-15. Junior Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, who won the ITA All-American singles and doubles championships this fall, will begin the season ranked second in the nation. Senior Ryan Shane, the reigning NCAA Singles champion, will start the season at No. 11. Additionally, sophomore Alexander Ritschard is No. 72, junior J.C. Aragone is No. 74 and sophomore Henrik Wiersholm is No. 90, giving the Cavaliers five players with top-100 rankings.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.