Feb. 11, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team will compete in the 2010 Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s National Team Indoor Championship beginning Friday at the Boar’s Head Sports Club.
Featuring the nation’s elite tennis programs, the four-day tournament consists of eight matches during each of the first three days and the championship match on Monday at noon ET.
Kentucky (6-1), making its first appearance since 2005 at the prestigious event, enters the tournament ranked 14th in the nation and will face No. 4 UCLA (2-0), Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET. UCLA is seeded fourth in the championship while UK is listed as a No. 13 seed. The Bruins lead the overall series against the Wildcats with a 7-1 mark. The two teams met annually from 2000 to 2004 with UCLA winning the contest each season. The Wildcats first played the Bruins in 1988.
Winners and losers will advance to play either fifth-ranked and fourth seeded Tennessee or 12th-ranked and 12th seeded Illinois on Saturday.
UK qualified for the tournament by defeating then-No. 41 Michigan and then-No. 16 Wake Forest in a ITA qualifier held in Lexington. The Wildcats defeated the Wolverines on the first day 4-2and claimed the qualifying mark by defeating the Demon Deacons 4-3 in the second round.
The Wildcats head to Virginia fresh off their 4-3 upset of the No. 2 Cavaliers Feb. 6 at UK’s Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. UK sophomore Alex Musialek earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week on Wednesday after defeating the nation’s No. 3 player in UVA’s Michael Shabaz, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). Musialek also teamed with freshman Anthony Rossi to take down the 17th-ranked doubles team of Drew Courtney and Lee Singer 8-4.
“We feel like we’re playing really well right now,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We’re going into national indoors with a lot of momentum and are hoping to capitalize on that.”
UK sophomore Eric Quigley, ranked eighth in the country, defeated No. 12 Sanam Sighn of Virginia 6-3, 6-4 last week. Quigley enters the National Indoor Championship with a 5-1 singles record. Quigley and junior Brad Cox are ranked ninth among the nation’s doubles teams. The tandem is 3-1 this season.
UK men’s tennis has a long history with the National Indoor Championships, having hosted the event 15 times in Lexington.
“We understand how important this event can be to your season,” Emery said. “It can serve as a springboard and really set up the rest of the year. Everyone competing this weekend is ranked in the Top 25. It gives us a chance to see where we are comparatively.”
Virginia is the two-time defending champion of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Live scoring of every match of the tournament will be available at VirginiaSports.com.