Musialek, Gonzalez Post Upsets in Singles, Wildcats Upset No. 2 Virginia
Feb. 6, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After getting upsets from University of Kentucky sophomore Alex Musialek and junior Alberto Gonzalez in singles play and a pair of wins over ranked Virginia doubles tandems, the No. 14 Wildcats defeated the No. 2 Cavaliers 4-3 at the Hilary J. Boone Indoor Tennis Complex Saturday.
The victory for Kentucky (5-1) snaps a 63-match regular-season winning streak for Virginia (3-1) who had not lost in the last two seasons. The win is huge for the UK program as Virginia has been a national power for years, winning three consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament titles, advancing to the NCAA outdoor championships round of 16 six straight years and winning the last two National Indoor Championships. In 2009, UVA advanced to the semifinals of the outdoor national championships and to the quarterfinals in 2008.
"This is one of the best matches that we have put together in a really long time," UK head coach Dennis Emery said. "We played well on every court in singles and doubles.
"Virginia is a really good team and a program that wins championships. They compete and fight so hard. It is a testament to our players that they weathered the storm and fought through some difficult situations during the afternoon."
In all, Kentucky posted four upsets on the day over Virginia, defeating two top-30 singles players and a pair of top-20 doubles teams. The biggest upset came at No. 2 singles where Musialek (Dax, France) took down No. 3 Michael Shabaz in straight sets. Shabaz had not lost a set this season, but Musialek took control of the match early, winning the first set 6-4. He battled Shabaz back-and-forth during the second set before taking the tiebreaker 7-6 (7-5).
Gonzalez scored the other key upset for UK at No. 6 singles. The Bradenton, Fla., native recorded his second consecutive match-clinching point, defeating No. 28 Lee Singer 6-3, 7-6 (9-7). Gonzalez trailed 5-4 in the second set before rattling off two aces to send the set to a tiebreaker. He gave UK the win with a 9-7 victory in the tiebreaker. Gonzalez clinched UK's win over No. 14 Wake Forest last Saturday during second-round play in the ITA Kickoff Weekend tournament.
Although not an upset, sophomore Eric Quigley (Pewee Valley, Ky.) posted his best victory of the young season winning at the No. 1 singles against No. 12 Sanam Singh in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
"Obviously, you have to feel really good about how you are playing when you beat the quality players that we had to today to get the win," said Emery.
The Wildcats swept the doubles point, scoring their fourth consecutive doubles point this season. Quigley and junior Brad Cox (Duluth, Ga.), ranked ninth, posted an upset in the No. 1 doubles position over fourth-ranked Singh and Houston Barrick 8-5.
UK won the doubles point when freshman Anthony Rossi (Martiques, France) and Musialek defeated No. 17 Singer and Drew Courtney 8-4. Musialek and Rossi have not lost a doubles match since moving to the No. 3 doubles position.
Kentucky swept the doubles portion of the match when senior Alex Lambropoulos (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Gonzalez posted an 8-5 victory over Shabaz and Jermere Jenkins at the No. 2 doubles position.
Before the match, Kentucky honored Herb Kays with induction into the Robert Purnell Wildcat Hall of Fame.
"Our team really wants to dedicate this match to Herb Kays who is a very special person. He has been very instrumental in the history of our program," Emery said.
Kentucky will play the second part of the doubleheader later tonight against Eastern Kentucky. The match is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. EST.
No. 14 Kentucky 4, No. 2 Virginia 3
Order of finish: 4, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6*
Order of finish: 1, 3, 2