Feb. 5, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Behind a gutsy three-set win from senior co-captain Alex Musialek, and three straight-set wins in singles action from senior Eric Quigley, junior Anthony Rossi and sophomore Alejandro Gomez, the No. 7 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team continued its best start in over 30 years, defeating No. 12 Pepperdine 4-2 on Sunday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky concluded the doubleheader with a 7-0 win over Abilene Christian on Sunday night at the Lexington Tennis Club. The pair of wins Sunday extends UK’s record to 8-0 to start the 2012 season, which is the best start in the Dennis Emery Era. Emery began coaching at UK in the 1982-83 season. Match-by-match results prior to the 1982-83 season are incomplete. The win also marked Kentucky’s 21st win over a top-25 opponent dating back to the 2009 season.
“I thought our team competed really, really well today,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We were a lot more focused today and were a little less in and out of some individual matches. That made a big difference for us. I am pleased with how we stayed focused and keyed in on our matches to get the win over a very good Pepperdine team.”
Pepperdine grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the match after UK surrendered the doubles point for only the second time this season. The Wildcats would respond in singles as No. 5 Quigley defeated No. 35 Finn Tearney and No. 36 Rossi took down No. 49 Mousheg Hovhannisyan in straight sets to give UK a 2-1 lead. Pepperdine would then tie the match with a win at No. 4 singles, before No. 13 Musialek grabbed a three-set win over No. 21 Sebastian Fanselow at No. 2 singles to put UK up 3-1. Seconds later, No. 111 Gomez earned the decisive fourth point for UK for the second consecutive match, giving UK the 4-2 win.
“Pepperdine played a great doubles point,” Emery said. “Anytime you lose the doubles point, especially when it ends the way today’s did, you worry how your guys will respond in singles. I think we answered that challenge and jumped out early in singles action to take back control of the match.”
The Waves claimed the doubles point with tight wins at courts two and three. Quigley and sophomore Panav Jha started doubles with an 8-3 win over Tearney and Alex Llompart at No. 1 doubles. Pepperdine would claim its first match at No. 3 doubles when David Sofaer and Hugh Clarke took down Rossi and Ryuji Hirooka 9-7. With each team holding onto a win, Pepperdine’s Jenson Turner and Fanselow would win a tiebreaker 7-5 over Musialek/Gomez to clinch the match 9-8 (5) and take the doubles point.
In singles action, No. 5 Quigley was the first to finish, taking down No. 35 Tearney 6-4, 6-3, while No. 36 Rossi continued his stellar junior season with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 49 Hovhannisyan. Rossi was down 4-5 in the second set with Hovhannisyan serving before the UK star broke the Pepperdine junior to tie the set 5-5. The native of Marseille, France, then held serve at 5-5 and broke Hovhannisyan at 6-5 to claim the match.
No. 13 Musialek had a gutsy three-set win over No. 21 Fanselow, who started the 2011 fall season ranked in the top 10 in the nation. The UK senior took the first set 6-3 before the talented Pepperdine star turned the tables with a 6-3 win in the second set. With the third set on serve, Musialek would hold to go up 5-4 and then break Fanselow to claim the third set 6-4 and the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
“Alex Musialek showed the size of his heart today with that great win,” Emery said. “He continues to play really well and that was a big-time win today. Sebastian Fanselow is one of the best players in the country and to break him to win a third set really speaks to how great Musialek is playing right now.”
Seconds after Musialek gave UK a 3-2 lead, No. 111 Gomez earned his second consecutive match-clinching point with a 6-1, 6-1 win at No. 6 singles over David Sofaer. Kentucky also led at No. 5 singles as No. 95 Tom Jomby was on serve in the second set after taking the first set over No. 106 Hugh Clark.
The win for Kentucky ties the all-time series against Pepperdine 6-6 dating back to the two schools’ first meeting in 1987.
The Wildcats concluded the night with a 7-0 win over Abilene Christian. Sophomore Maks Gold gave UK its first point with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Guilherme Gesser, while Hirooka finished second with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Borja Cortes. Sophomore Grant Roberts put UK ahead 3-0 when he took down Nick Plum 6-1, 6-2 before Gomez clinched the decisive fourth point with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Alfredo Desiati. Quigley put UK up 5-0 with his three-set win over Hans Hach, while freshman Brett Johnson finished off the singles sweep with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Michael Morris.
UK added its seventh point against ACU when it won both doubles matches played. Gold and Hirooka took down Gesser and Kyle Plum 8-2, while senior Matt Davis and Roberts defeated Cortes and Desiati 8-2.
Kentucky has been nearly unbeatable at home the past few seasons. Since the 2009 season, UK is an impressive 49-9 at home, including a 6-0 mark this year. The Wildcats were 18-3 at home last season.
The Wildcats will be in action again next Sunday when it travels to face No. 30 Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. The match is scheduled to start at Noon ET. Live scores will be available at UKathletics.com.
For more information on the Kentucky men's tennis team, follow "UKMensTennis" on Twitter or "University of Kentucky men's tennis team" on Facebook.
No. 7 Kentucky 4, No. 12 Pepperdine 2
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex – Lexington, Ky.
Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012
1 – No. 5 Eric Quigley (UK) def. No. 35 Finn Tearney (PEP) 6-4, 6-3
2 – No. 13 Alex Musialek (UK) def. No. 21 Sebastian Fanselow (PEP) 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
3 – No. 36 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. No. 49 Mousheg Hovhannisyan (PEP) 6-4, 7-5
4 – Alex Llompart (PEP) def. No. 85 Panav Jha (UK) 6-4, 7-6 (6)
5 – No. 95 Tom Jomby (UK) vs. No. 106 Hugh Clarke (PEP) DNF
6 – No. 111 Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. David Sofaer (PEP) 6-1, 6-1
1 – Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) def. Finn Tearney/Alex Llompart (PEP) 8-3
2 – Jenson Turner/Sebastian Fanselow (PEP) def. Alex Musialek/Alejandro Gomez (UK) 9-8 (5)
3 – David Sofaer/Hugh Clarke (PEP) def. Anthony Rossi/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) 9-7
Order of Finish
Singles – 1, 3, 4, 2, 5*
Doubles – 1, 3, 2*
No. 7 Kentucky 7, Abilene Christian 0
Lexington Tennis Club – Lexington, Ky.
Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012
1 – No. 5 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Hans Hach (ACU) 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4
2 – No. 111 Alejandro Gomez (UK) vs. Alfredo Desiati (ACU) 6-4, 6-1
3 – Grant Roberts (UK) vs. Nick Plum (ACU) 6-1, 6-2
4 – Ryuji Hirooka (UK) vs. Borja Cortes (ACU) 6-3, 6-2
5 – Maks Gold (UK) vs. Guilherme Gesser (ACU) 6-2, 6-3
6 – Brett Johnson (UK) vs. Michael Morris (ACU) 6-3, 6-1
1 – DNP
2 – Maks Gold/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) def. Guilherme Gesser/Kyle Plum (ACU) 8-2
3 – Matt Davis/Grant Roberts (UK) def. Borja Cortes/Alfredo Desiati (ACU) 8-2
Order of Finish
Singles: 5, 4, 3, 2*, 1, 6
Doubles: 3, 2*