Men's Tennis Senior Bruno Agostinelli Ranks Fourth Nationally in Singles
Jan. 6, 2009
LEXINGTON, Ky. - University of Kentucky senior Bruno Agostinelli enters the 2009 season ranked fourth nationally in singles according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's (ITA) preseason rankings released Tuesday afternoon.
The senior captain built upon his first NCAA appearances last season in both the national singles and doubles tournaments to propel him through an impressive fall campaign. Agostinelli's place in the poll is the highest of his career and the best singles ranking for a Wildcat since Jesse Witten's run in the top-five during late 2005.
The Niagara Falls, Canada, native advanced to three tournament singles finals this fall, knocking off three top-10 opponents in the process - including the No. 1 player in the nation. Agostinelli also defeated John-Patrick Smith of Tennessee, a 2008 NCAA singles finalist, twice during the first semester. Overall, the Wildcat battled four top-ten players on six separate occasions during his fall tour, compiling a 3-3 record.
Agostinelli's impressive late 2008 results earned the Wildcat a spot in the prestigious ITA National Indoor Championships hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., last November. There he advanced to the consolation final by knocking off two ranked opponents along the way.
"Bruno had a great fall season," said UK head coach Dennis Emery. "He is one of those rare players who come to work every day to do his best. Couple that with his impeccable sportsmanship and you have one of the best collegiate players in the country this year."
In addition to his three singles final appearances, Agostinelli and doubles partner Brad Cox clinched the Southern Intercollegiate Championships' doubles title last September. It was the first title for the tandem after being paired up initially in September 2007. The Wildcat duo ranks 13th in the doubles standings after defeating the No. 3 team in the country last fall. Cox and Agostinelli will reprise their role at the No. 1 doubles slot for Kentucky in 2009.
Newcomer Eric Quigley ranks 37th nationally in singles and will fill the void left by departed senior Marcus Sundh. In the fall, Quigley defeated three ranked opponents en route to an impressive fall record. As a result, the Louisville native rocketed up the rankings after not appearing in the autumn standings last September.
Another Wildcat tandem earned doubles ranking points based on their defeat of the No. 8 squad in the country last autumn. Senior Shane Collins and sophomore Will Beck round out the UK players ranked in the preseason standings holding down the No. 42 doubles spot in the nation.
After making its 19th NCAA tournament appearance in the last 22 years, Kentucky will battle through another grueling schedule in 2009. The Wildcats return all but one player who participated in the 2008 NCAA Tournament First Round match-up against Virginia Tech last spring.
Emery's Wildcats will again travel throughout the nation in an effort to prove that they belong among the ranks of the top championship candidates come May in College Station, Texas. The Blue and White netters finished last year's campaign ranked 40th as a team while Agostinelli and Cox advanced to NCAA post-season individual competitions.
UK begins 2009 ranked four notches higher (No. 36) than where it finished last season as a team. If the Cats are to return again to the post-season dance, it will not be easy. Kentucky's schedule is annually one of the toughest in the nation. This year 18 of UK's 27 opponents are ranked in the ITA preseason top-75 team rankings.
The Wildcats face six squads ranked in the preseason top-10, including 2009 pre-season No. 1 Ohio State and defending back-to-back National Champion and Southeastern Conference foe, Georgia. Moreover, the SEC amazingly boasts all 12 teams in the top-56 of the country.
Come out to support the Wildcats' during their regular-season opening day Sat. Jan. 24th in Lexington when they host a triple-header against UNC-Wilmington, Wright State and Murray State at Boone Tennis Center.
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