May 13, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the third time in as many seasons, the No. 10 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team defeated Cleveland State in the NCAA Championships after taking down the Vikings 4-0 in the opening round of the event on Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Kentucky (27-8) dominated Cleveland State (16-8) from the beginning, taking the doubles point and receiving singles wins from No. 6 Eric Quigley, No. 90 Alberto Gonzalez and senior Brad Cox to claim the 4-0 victory. The win keeps Kentucky’s record-breaking season going as UK continues to tack on to its school record for wins in a single season.
“The two toughest matches of the year are the first match of the season and the first match of the NCAAs,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “There is a lot of rust there and I think our guys handled that situation pretty well today. A big key to our team is our three, four and five singles players. All those guys came out and did a very good job today taking out their opponents.”
With the win, Kentucky advances to face in-state rival No. 24 Louisville (18-11) in the second round of the tournament Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The match will mark the first time that the two schools have faced each other since the 2005 season.
“I think it’s great,” Emery said about the matchup with Louisville. “It’s such a good opportunity to showcase what we have in the state. We have two great programs in the state and had Louisville gone to Texas A&M or something there wouldn’t have been the same sense of excitement. So I think it’s a great opportunity for both of us not just to go to the Sweet 16, but to really show the type of character and programs that we have.”
The Wildcats started the match by taking care of business in doubles action, winning at courts two and three. Doubles began with Gonzalez and freshman Tom Jomby making light work of Matt Kuelker and Matt Ford, defeating the CSU duo 8-0. Gonzalez and Jomby were dominating in the match – which lasted 28 minutes – allowing only 11 points in eight games to the Vikings.
Kentucky would clinch the doubles point at No. 2 when junior Alex Musialek and sophomore Anthony Rossi took down Yannick Goossens and Chris Klepatz 8-4. After the UK duo took a commanding 5-1 lead in the match, Goossens and Klepatz would respond, winning three straight games to cut the UK lead to 5-4. Musialek and Rossi then rattled off three consecutive wins to earn the match. The victory moved Kentucky to 15-3 this season when it claims the doubles point.
In singles, UK continued to play solid tennis. Gonzalez was the first match to finish as he defeated Klepatz 6-0, 6-1 to advance to 19-7 in dual matches this spring. The native of Bradenton, Fla., has played at the No. 4 singles position for most of the season with Kentucky earning a 24-0 record when it receives a point from the No. 4 singles player.
The Wildcats grabbed a 3-0 lead in the match when Cox earned a key victory over Kuelker at No. 3 singles. After the UK senior took the first set 6-3, Cox broke Kuelker to start the second set and never looked back, claiming the match 6-3, 6-3. The native of Duluth, Ga., is now 15-15 on the season in dual matches.
Kentucky secured the victory with a straight-sets win from Quigley at No. 1 singles. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., broke Goossens twice in the first set to claim a 6-2. In the second set, Quigley held serve to start before breaking Goossens to go up 2-0. The Viking fought back, breaking Quigley and holding serve to tie the set 2-2, but Quigley claimed four straight games to win the second set 6-2 and claim the match 6-2, 6-2.
UK led in the other three matches still on court, taking the first set in each match. Jomby and Rossi each were up a break in the second set with Jomby at match point when play was abandoned.
The Wildcats have been solid at home this season, posting a 17-3 record that includes wins over some of the best teams in the nation. UK's three home losses in 2011 have come to teams ranked in the top 10 in the nation. In all, the Wildcats are an impressive 45-9 at home since the start of the 2009 season.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team visit UKathletics.com.
2011 NCAA Championships
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center * Lexington, Ky.
First Round - Match 2
No. 10 Kentucky 4, Cleveland State 0
1.) No. 19 Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) led Robert Fox/John Haley (CSU) 5-4 (DNF)
2.) Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Yannick Goossens/Chris Klepatz (CSU) 8-4
3.) Tom Jomby/Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. Matt Kuelker/Matt Ford (CSU) 8-0
1.) No. 6 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Yannick Goossens (CSU) 6-2, 6-2
2.) No. 53 Alex Musialek (UK) led Robert Fox (CSU) 7-5, 1-0 (DNF)
3.) Brad Cox (UK) def. Matt Kuelker (CSU) 6-3, 6-3
4.) No. 90 Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. Chris Klepatz (CSU) 6-0, 6-1
5.) Anthony Rossi (UK) led John Haley (CSU) 6-3, 5-3 (DNF)
6.) Tom Jomby (UK) led Matt Ford (CSU) 6-4, 5-2 (DNF)
Order of Finish:
Doubles: 3, 2*
Singles: 4, 3, 1*