March 19, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The seventh-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team could not use a thrilling come-from-behind effort from senior Alex Musialek, who recorded his 100th career singles win during the match, dropping its first home match of the 2012 season 4-3 to No. 39 Baylor on Monday at the Hilary J. Boon Tennis Complex. Kentucky (16-4, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) concluded the night with a 5-1 win over in-state foe Murray State.
Musialek was the highlight of the day for the Wildcats as he became only the 14th player in school history to earn 100 career singles wins. The native of Dax, France, earned the historic win in a three-set thriller over No. 82 Roberto Maytin at No. 2 singles. After dropping the first set 3-6, Musialek dominated the second set 6-1 and then rolled in the third set 6-4 to grab the win.
"Our team and coaching staff want to congratulate Alex Musialek on becoming the 14th player in school history to reach 100 career singles wins," UK head coach Dennis Emery said. "There have been a lot of good players come through this program so for him to accomplish this says something about his character. He has worked extremely hard for this university over the past four years and I could not be more proud of him and what he has done."
Musialek, who is now 100-46 all-time in singles, joins current UK star Eric Quigley and former UK greats Paul Varga, Jesse Witten, Andrew Varga, Mark Bailey, Cedric Kauffmann, Rich Benson, Joe Leytze, Pat McGee, Luddie Sudin, Gustav Pousette, Alex Hume and Bruno Agostinelli as the only players to win over 100 career single matches at Kentucky. The senior and co-captain needs eight more singles wins to rank in the top 10 all-time in school history in wins. Musialek is currently ranked 21st in the nation in singles and has an 8-4 record in dual matches.
Only two other Wildcats would grab a singles win Monday against Baylor in junior No. 28 Anthony Rossi and sophomore Grant Roberts. Rossi was impressive in his match at No. 3 singles, taking down Marco Krickovic 6-2, 6-2, while Roberts continued his stellar play for the Wildcats with a come-from-behind 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win at No. 6 singles over Julian Bley.
Singles matches were played first with Baylor riding some early momentum to win five first sets. Kentucky would get on the board first, however, when Rossi disposed of Krickovic in straight sets. The Bears would take a 2-1 lead in the match when Kike Grangeiro defeated No. 99 Alejandro Gomez 6-4, 7-5 and Diego Galeano took down No. 101 Tom Jomby 6-3, 6-4. Baylor would increase its lead to 3-1 when No. 33 Mate Zsiga earned a 6-4, 7-6 (8) win over No. 5 Eric Quigley at No. 1 singles.
Kentucky would respond with Musialek and Roberts both winning in dramatic fashion to tie the score 3-3 and force doubles action to be played. In doubles, Kentucky jumped on the Bears early to go up a break on each court. Baylor would respond to earn the first doubles match of the day when Maytin and Grangeiro took down No. 17 Quigley and Panav Jha 8-6. Rossi and Musialek evened up the contest with their 8-6 win at No. 2 doubles over Krickovic and Bley, while Jomby and Gomez appeared to be in good shape at three doubles over Galeano and Zsiga. The UK duo took a commanding 5-1 lead in the match before Baylor found its footing to erase the two break lead and tie the match 6-6. Both teams then held serve to force a tiebreaker before Baylor won four-consecutive points in the breaker to go up 6-3 and eventually grab the 7-5 win.
"We had a really good chance today to beat a great team in Baylor, but we weren't able to finish off the match today and it cost us," Emery said. "We were up a couple of breaks there at three doubles with a chance to close out the match, but they fought back really hard and we weren't able to close off the match. There are a lot of lessons that we can take from this match and I think we will be able to learn from today. Now, we have to turn our attention back to SEC action because we face two really good teams this weekend in Auburn and Alabama."
The loss to Baylor snaps Kentucky's 14-match home winning streak dating back to last season. UK has been difficult to beat at home since the start of the 2009 season, posting a 55-10 record at home, including the win Monday over Murray State. UK is now 9-1 at home this season.
Against the Racers, Kentucky performed extremely well in singles action, earning five of the six singles matches. Jha started the day with a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles, while freshman Brett Johnson gave UK a 2-0 lead with his 6-3, 6-4 win at No. 6 singles over Aleks Mitric. Sophomore Maks Gold pushed UK's advantage to 3-0 with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Tyler Jeffers, before MSU earned its lone point of the match at No. 1 singles when Arthur Valle defeated senior Matt Davis 6-2, 6-4. Jomby then clinched the match for UK at No. 2 singles with a 6-2, 6-4 win, while sophomore Ryuji Hirooka concluded the scoring with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Max McLean at No. 4 singles.
"Really good win for our guys against a very improved Murray State team," Emery said. "As we start down the stretch run of our season, it will be critical that we develop the bottom of our lineup in case we run into injuries or get some tired legs. We liked what we saw from those young guys tonight against Murray."
Kentucky will be in action again Friday when it returns to SEC action against No. 18 Auburn. The match is schedule to begin at 4 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Admission to men's tennis home matches is free of charge, while live scores from the match can be found at UKathletics.com.
For more information on the Kentucky men's tennis team, follow "UKMensTennis" on Twitter of "University of Kentucky men's tennis team" on Facebook.
Kentucky Men's Tennis
No. 7 Kentucky 3, No. 39 Baylor 4
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex - Lexington, Ky.
Monday, January 19, 2012
1 - No. 33 Mate Zsiga (BU) def. No. 5 Eric Quigley (UK) 6-4, 7-6 (8)
2 - No. 21 Alex Musialek (UK) def. No. 82 Roberto Maytin (BU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
3 - No. 28 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Marco Krickovic (BU) 6-2, 6-2
4 - Diego Galeano (BU) def. No. 101 Tom Jomby (UK) 6-3, 6-4
5 - Kike Grangeiro (BU) def. No. 99 Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-4, 7-5
6 - Grant Roberts (UK) def. Julian Bley (BU) 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4
1 - Roberto Maytin/Kike Grangeiro (BU)def. No. 17 Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) 8-6
2 - Anthony Rossi/Alex Musialek (UK) def. Mark Krickovic/Julian Bley (BU) 8-6
3 - Diego Galeano/Mate Zsiga (BU) def. Tom Jomby/Alejandro Gomez (UK) 9-8 (5)
Order of Finish:
Singles - 3, 5, 4, 1, 2, 6
Doubles - 1, 2, 3
No. 7 Kentucky 5, Murray State 1
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex - Lexington, Ky.
Monday, March 19, 2012
1 - Arthur Valle (MSU) def. Matt Davis (UK) 6-2, 6-4
2 - Tom Jomby (UK) vs. Jose Berardo (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
3 - Panav Jha (UK) vs. Daniel Heibel (MSU) 6-2, 6-0
4 - Ryuji Hirooka (UK) vs. Max McLean (MSU) 7-5, 6-2
5 - Maks Gold (UK) vs. Tyler Jeffers (MSU) 6-1, 6-2
6 - Brett Johnson (UK) vs. Aleks Mitric (MSU) 6-3, 6-4
Order of Finish
Singles - 3, 6, 5, 1, 2*, 4