March 23, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The seventh-ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team used a strong performance in both singles and doubles action to earn its fifth Southeastern Conference win of the season, sweeping No. 19 Auburn 4-0 on Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky.
Kentucky (17-4, 5-0 SEC) started the victory by winning both doubles matches that finished in a decision before continuing its momentum in singles play with three quick wins to clinch the victory. UK is now 11-0 this season when it wins the doubles point.
“I thought we played one of our most complete matches today, considering both singles and doubles,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We had almost everyone firing on all cylinders so that was really good to see. We have had some people playing good, while other people weren’t playing as well. So it was good to see everyone playing good at the same time. Auburn has some great players who are having excellent years, especially at courts two and four. For Tom Jomby to win and for Alex Musialek to be in position to win speaks very well for how well they played today.”
The win was UK’s 12th over a team that is currently ranked in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association top 60. The Wildcats have been impressive against top-25 teams the last few years, defeating 25 top-25 teams since the start of the 2009 season. Kentucky is now 10-1 at home this season and 56-10 at home since the start of the 2009 season.
The match, which was played indoors due to rain in the Lexington area, started with Kentucky taking the doubles point. UK claimed the first point of the match behind wins at courts two and three. Sophomores Tom Jomby and Alejandro Gomez were the first duo to finish, posting a dominating 8-4 win over Rafael Rondino and Lucas Lopasso at court three. UK then clinched the doubles point at court two, when senior Alex Musialek and sophomore Anthony Rossi earned an 8-6 win over Dan Cochrane and Lukas Ollert. Play at court one was abandoned when UK clinched the point. The match was on serve with No. 13 Alexander Stamchev and Andreas Mies up 7-6 on No. 17 Eric Quigley and Panav Jha.
UK sealed the victory with its impressive singles play. Jomby, who is ranked 101st in the nation in singles, started the winning with an impressive 6-3, 6-4 victory over No. 100 Ollert at court four. The Wildcats then grabbed a 3-0 lead in the match when fifth-ranked Quigley took down 26th-ranked Mies in straight sets 7-5, 6-2. UK sealed the win with another strong performance by No. 28 Rossi at court three. The junior used a come-from-behind effort against Cochrane 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 to grab the win and clinch the match.
“I thought the key to the match was when Anthony Rossi was able to break to win the second set,” Emery said. “When he was able to break – he served for the second set, got broken and broke right back and won the second set – I thought it was a key part in the match. It really set us up to win. He is such a good competitor for us and such a consistent and solid winner.”
Play on the other three singles courts was abandoned when UK sealed the match. Kentucky’s No. 21 Musialek was up a break in the third set over No. 95 Stamchev, while sophomore Grant Roberts had just finished defeating Michael Wardell 6-2 in the first set. Auburn’s Lopasso had won the first set at five singles over No. 99 Gomez.
Auburn (13-5, 2-3 SEC) entered the weekend ranked 19th in the nation by the ITA after winning each of its last three matches. The Tigers started SEC play with losses at highly ranked Mississippi State and Ole Miss, before winning its last two league matches against Arkansas and LSU.
Kentucky will be in action again when it concludes its lone split weekend of the season at No. 61 Alabama on Sunday. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET. Live scores from the match can be found at UKathletics.com.
“These split weekends are tough,” Emery said. “There’s only one time during the year where you are at home and on the road in the same weekend. Alabama can be a difficult place to play. The weather can sometimes be tough there and the crowd can sometimes be very tough there. I think our players are experienced enough to be ready for the challenge of going down there.”
Alabama (6-9, 1-4 SEC) is currently ranked 61st in the nation as a team. The Crimson Tide has lost five of its last six matches, with the lone win coming at home to No. 32 Arkansas. Last week, Bama went out of conference to No. 54 Miami (Fla.), falling to the Hurricanes 5-2. Alabama fell 5-2 to No. 41 Vanderbilt on Friday. The Crimson Tide do not have a ranked singles player, while Carlos Taborga and Daniil Proskura are ranked 60th in doubles.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow “University of Kentucky men’s tennis team” on Facebook or “UKMensTennis” on Twitter.
Southeastern Conference Dual Match
No. 7 Kentucky 4, No. 19 Auburn 0
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex – Lexington, Ky.
Friday, March 23, 2012
1 – No. 5 Eric Quigley (UK) def. No. 26 Andy Mies (AU) 7-5, 6-2
2 – No. 21 Alex Musialek (UK) vs. No. 95 Alexander Stamchev (AU) 6-3, 3-6, 4-2 DNF
3 – No. 28 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Dan Cachrane (AU) 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
4 – No. 101 Tom Jomby (UK) def. No. 100 Lukas Ollert (AU) 6-3, 6-4
5 – No. 99 Alejandro Gomez (UK) vs. Lucas Lopasso (AU) 4-6, 1-1 DNF
6 – Grant Roberts (UK) vs. Michael Wardell (AU) 6-2, 0-0 DNF
1 – No. 17 Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) vs. No. 13 Alexander Stamchev/Andreas Mies (AU) 6-7 DNF
2 – Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Dan Cochrane/Lukas Ollert (AU) 8-6
3 – Tom Jomby/Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Rafael Rondino/Lucas Lopasso (AU) 8-4
Order of Finish
Singles – 4, 1, 3*
Doubles – 3, 2*