No. 14 Kentucky Falls to No. 10 Georgia in Athens
March 21, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 14 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team made a valiant comeback in singles on Friday afternoon at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex after dropping the doubles point, but ran out of time late in the match, and dropped a 4-1 decision to the No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs in a battle for the Southeastern Conference lead.
Kentucky dropped the doubles point for just the second time this conference season, as the Bulldogs clinched the 1-0 lead with wins on courts one and two to take the point. The Wildcats’ duo of Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai lost their first SEC match this season as they fell 8-4 to No. 21 Hernus Pieters and Ben Wagland of Georgia. Wagland and Pieters got ahead an early break in the match to go up 4-2 and then broke again to take the 8-4 win on court one. On court two, Alejandro Gomez and Beck Pennington also dropped just their second SEC match this season on court two as Nathan Pasha and Garrett Brasseaux of Georgia outlasted Gomez and Pennington, 8-5 to clinch the point.
In singles, Georgia pushed its lead to 2-0 overall as Gomez fell in straight sets on court two. The top-ranked Georgia player in singles, No. 12 Austin Smith, got ahead an early break in both sets and took out Gomez on court two, 6-3, 6-1 to give UGA the early 2-0 lead.
The Wildcats would respond with their only point of the match as No. 10 Tom Jomby pushed his overall season record to 15-2 overall with a 6-3, 6-3 straight-sets win on court one over No. 29 Nathan Pasha. Jomby got up a break at 3-1 in the opening set, and then broke to go ahead early in the second set and never was broken to collect the win for Kentucky on court one.
Kentucky would rally on the remaining courts when things looked bleek to make a match of it, as No. 67 Beck Pennington came from down a set to force a third set on court three and was up a break in the third at the time that Georgia clinched. On court four, Jerry Lopez, on court four, was leading Georgia’s No. 79 Garrett Brasseaux a set and a break up when the match was clinched as well.
On court five, the clinching court for Georgia, sophomore Kevin Lai for Kentucky fell in three sets to Hernus Pieters to give UGA the 4-1 lead, although the match was closer than the score indicated. Lai dropped the opening set 0-6 before rallying to force a third set with a 6-3 win in the second frame over Pieters. Lai then was serving at 4-4 and dropped his serve after an extended deuce game as Peiters then served for the match and won it 6-4 in the third set.
Friday’s loss is the first all season for UK in SEC play, as the Wildcats are now 5-1 overall and in an extended tie for second place in the conference, trailing the Bulldogs by one match. Georgia is the only remaining team left in the SEC that has an unblemished conference record through six SEC matches.
The Wildcats will next travel to Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday afternoon as UK will face No. 15 Tennessee at 1:00 p.m. ET on Rocky Top.
No. 10 Georgia 4, No. 14 Kentucky 1
Dan Magill Tennis Complex – Athens, Ga.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Match Duration: 3:10
Doubles (Order of finish: 2, 1*)
1- No. 21 Hernus Pieters /Ben Wagland (UGA) def. No. 26 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) 8-4
2- Nathan Pasha/Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) def. Beck Pennington/Alejandro Gomez (UK) 8-5
3- Austin Smith/Eric Diaz (UGA) led No. 76 Ryuji Hirooka/Nils Ellefsen (UK) 6-5 (DNF)
Singles (Order of finish: 2, 1, 6, 5*)
1- No. 10 Tom Jomby (UK) def. No. 29 Nathan Pasha (UGA) 6-3, 6-3
2- No. 12 Austin Smith (UGA) def. Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-3, 6-1
3- Beck Pennington (UK) led No. 87 Ben Wagland (UGA) 6-7, 6-4, 2-1 (DNF)
4- Jerry Lopez (UK) led No. 79 Garrett Brasseaux (UGA) 7-6, 3-2 (DNF)
5- Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Kevin Lai (UK) 6-0, 3-6, 6-4
6- Nick Wood (UGA) def. Grant Roberts (UK) 7-6, 6-1
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