Men's Tennis To Host No. 8 Texas A&M on Friday Night
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 22 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team opens up its home slate of Southeastern Conference matches on Friday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center, as the Wildcats will welcome the No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies to Lexington for a top-25 match at 5 p.m. ET.
Kentucky is coming off of a 2-0 weekend, in which the Wildcats swept the opening weekend of SEC action, collecting road wins at No. 73 LSU (5-2) and at No. 66 Arkansas (6-1) to start off the conference season. UK is one of just four teams in the SEC to open the season 2-0 in conference action after the first weekend, with Texas A&M also being 2-0 as well.
“Tomorrow is a big match with SEC implications,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “The boys will have a tough task ahead of them physically and mentally. We will need to play well and with a lot of intensity. We still have a lot to prove with this team and we are expecting a great match so we hope a lot of people will come out and support us.”
There will be free pizza to all of those in attendance of Friday’s match at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center.
The Wildcats boast two ranked singles players in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s singles rankings, topped out by No. 14 Tom Jomby, who will play No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles for the Wildcats. Jomby is 12-1 this season to start off the spring, already collecting six wins over ranked opponents. Jomby’s only loss came on the road at No. 1 Ohio State early in the infant stages of the season.
Also in the rankings for Kentucky is No. 99 Beck Pennington, who also went 2-0 last weekend in the SEC opening weekend. The Bowling Green, Ky., native plays court No. 3 in singles for Kentucky and court No. 2 for doubles, teaming up with senior Alejandro Gomez. Pennington rallied to collect a three-set win on Friday in Kentucky’s comeback win over LSU, and recorded a straight-sets win on Sunday at Arkansas.
Texas A&M comes is as the highest-ranked team in the SEC, checking in at No. 8 in the latest weekly team rankings that were released on Tuesday. The Aggies have lost four times this season, all to top-10 teams, suffering defeats to Ohio State, Baylor, Illinois and Baylor. All four of those losses for the Aggies were either on the road, or at neutral site locations.
TAMU has three players ranked in the top 40 of the ITA singles rankings, including its top-ranked player on the team, Harrison Adams, who is No. 11 in the nation. Shane Vinsant is the second-highest ranked Aggie at No. 26, with Jeremy Efferding No. 38.
In addition, Texas A&M boasts the top-ranked doubles team in the nation, with Junior Ore and Jackson Withrow ranked No. 1 in the nation. Efferding teams with Jordan Szabo to form the No. 37 ranked doubles tandem in the nation.
UKathletics.com will be hosting live coverage of the match, with live stats, live blog and live streaming video (only if the match is held indoors).
SEC Match Preview – No. 8 Texas A&M at No. 22 Kentucky
Expected weather conditions: 59 degrees, 0 percent chance of rain, ENE 5 mph, 58 percent humidity
No. 8 Texas A&M Projected Lineup (11-4 (2-0 SEC)):
1- No. 1 Junior Ore/Jackson Withrow (7-0)
2- Harrison Adams/Shane Vinsant (NR)
3- No. 37 Jeremy Efferding/Jordan Szabo (11-2)
1- No. 11 Harrison Adams (9-4)
2- No. 26 Shane Vinsant (8-3)
3- No. 38 Jeremy Efferding (8-5)
4- Junior Ore (6-5)
5- Jackson Withrow (6-3)
6- Jordan Szabo (5-2)
No. 22 Kentucky Projected Lineup (9-4 (2-0 SEC)):
1- Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (7-4)
2- Beck Pennington/Alejandro Gomez (2-4)
3- Nils Ellefsen/Ryuji Hirooka (9-1)
1- No. 14 Tom Jomby (12-1)
2- Alejandro Gomez (7-2)
3- No. 99 Beck Pennington (4-5)
4- Jerry Lopez (8-4)
5- Kevin Lai (3-2)
6- Grant Roberts (4-3)
For continuing coverage of UK men’s tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.