No. 13 Kentucky Powers Past Auburn
March 28, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 13 University of Kentucky men's tennis team took down the No. 34 Auburn Tigers on The Plains in Auburn on Friday afternoon by winning the doubles point, and then capturing three singles wins from Tom Jomby, Grant Roberts and Beck Pennington.
"Getting a win in the SEC on the road is always a good thing," UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. "Auburn is a good team. We as a team have to get a little bit better. We are having some lapses at times mentally but I am proud of the boys for coming out on top today."
In the doubles point, Kentucky got wins on courts one and two to clinch the point for the seventh time in the Wildcats' nine Southeastern Conference matches. With the win over the Tigers, UK moves into second place in the SEC at 8-1, only trailing Georgia, who entered action on Friday at 8-0.
Kentucky's No. 1 doubles tandem, and No. 31 nationally, Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai took down No. 49 Daniel Cochrane/Oliver Plaskett of Auburn, 8-4. Jomby and Lai combined to collect two breaks of serve after the match was 4-4 at one point. The Wildcat tandem rallied to win the final five-straight games to collect the match, 8-4.
After falling behind 4-1, and at one point trailing 7-4, Beck Pennington and Alejandro Gomez rallied to force a tiebreak on court two to clinch the 1-0 lead for the Wildcats. Pennington and Gomez won the tiebreak in extra time at 10-8, and the Wildcats then won the match, 8-7.
After taking the 1-0 lead, Kentucky got wins from Grant Roberts, Tom Jomby and Beck Pennington to clinch the 4-2 road SEC win.
After Auburn took its first, and only lead of the match with wins on courts four and two, Roberts' straight-set win on court six over Oliver Plaskett at 6-4, 7-5 to win. In both sets, with the frames on serve, Roberts broke to collect the win in the final Plaskett service game of each set.
"Today was a tough match for us," Roberts said. "I don't feel like we played our best tennis as a whole. With that said, Auburn is a good team and I think we are all happy to get out of there with a win. Now we're all going to enjoy the win and focus on our match Sunday with Alabama."
Kentucky would re-claim the lead when top-ranked Wildcat and No. 11 nationally, Tom Jomby, won 7-6, 6-4 on court one and give UK the 3-2 lead overall. Jomby, the Nantes, France, native, won a first-set tiebreak and then also broke at 6-5 in the second set to collect the win.
The match would be clinched by Beck Pennington on court three, as he won in straight sets over Dennis Lengsfeld, 6-4, 7-6 (8). Pennington was up 4-1 and an early break in the first set and server out the 6-4 win for the opening frame. The sophomore then was down a break early in the second set, rallied to get it back on serve, and won the tiebreak to clinch the match.
"We knew coming into today it wasn't going to be easy," Pennington said. "Once again, the doubles point really helped us out. We really need to focus on these last few SEC matches to show the country that we are the top team in the nation."
Kentucky is now 8-1 in SEC action this season, and will play its final road match of the season on Saturday at No. 42 Alabama at 2:00 p.m. ET in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
No. 13 Kentucky 4, No. 32 Auburn 2
Doubles (Order of finish: 1, 2*)
1- No. 31 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) def. No. 49 Daniel Cochrane/Oliver Plaskett (AU) 8-4
Singles (Order of finish: 4, 2, 6, 1, 3*)
1- No. 11 Tom Jomby (UK) def. No. 111 Lukas Ollert (AU) 7-6, 6-4
For continuing coverage of UK men’s tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.