Kentucky Falls at No. 3 Georgia
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 37 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team lost at No. 3 Georgia 5-0 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., Friday evening. The young Cats pushed the defending national champs to three sets in three singles matches and took one of the doubles matches but could not manage a point.
The doubles action was settled outside before inclement weather forced singles play inside. At No. 2 doubles, the Bulldog team of Christian Vitulli and Nate Schnugg defeated junior Shane Collins and freshman Will Beck 8-3. At No. 1 doubles the Georgia tandem of Luis Flores and Travis Helgeson beat freshman Brad Cox and junior Bruno Agostinelli 8-6 to give the Bulldogs the doubles point.
Court three finished third with the Cats’ team of sophomore Alex Lambropulous and senior Marcus Sundh bested Georgia’s duo of Drake Bernstein and Josh Varela 8-6.
In singles play, No. 3 Helgeson overwhelmed No. 19 Agostinelli 6-1, 6-2, to put the Dogs up 2-0.
At the No. 2 slot, Cox battled three sets with No. 75 Luis Flores of Georgia. The duo traded 6-3 sets, with Cox winning the second, going into the final stanza. But Flores regained the advantage in the third winning 6-1; giving Georgia a 3-0 lead.
On court three, Sundh pushed No. 11 Nate Schnugg to three sets. Schnugg took the first 6-3 then the UK captain battled back in the second to win 6-4 and force a deciding set. The foes went to extra games but Schnugg came up with the win, 7-5, for the deciding match point for the defending national champions.
Beck won the first set against Vitulli 6-3 on court four then battled to a second-set tiebreaker but the Bulldog was able to stave off elimination 7-6. In the final set, the pair continued tight play as Vitulli edged Beck 6-4 in the third.
Collins and Lambropoulos’ matches at No. 5 and No. 6 singles was called after the first four singles matches were completed.
With the win, Georgia moves to 19-1 overall and remains undefeated in the SEC at 9-0. Kentucky falls to 11-12 and 3-6 in the conference.
“I think it was a very good college match,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “I think we are the most improved team in the country from Mar. 5 to Apr. 5. Our guys are really playing well now. To play the defending National Champions at home and force their players to three sets in three of the four matches is really good for our young team.
“No. 1 doubles was a turning point in the match. It was 6-5 before they put together a couple of great games to win the match and doubles point. They used that momentum going into singles. Beck played a great match at No. 4 and Cox fought hard at No. 2 but got off to a slow start in the third set. I’m proud of our team, we played well.”
Kentucky finishes its last conference road trip of the season taking on No. 8 Tennessee Sunday afternoon. A complete recap of both the match will be available on UKathletics.com.
#3 Georgia 5, #37 Kentucky 0
Order of Finish