May 17, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -- The No. 10 University of Kentucky men's tennis team faces the No. 7 seeded and Southeastern Conference Tournament Champions Florida Gators in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Championships at the Taube Tennis Center in Stanford, Calif., on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.
Kentucky will play on the Taube South courts with live scores and live video available at UKathics.com. Fans can also follow along through an interactive live blog, which will also be available at UKathletics.com.
The UK-UF winner plays the victor of the Georgia Tech (21-5) vs. Southern California (23-2) match in the quarterfinals Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The national semifinal matches start Monday at 3 p.m. ET with the national championship match beginning Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET. The final will be broadcast on ESPNU.
The match between Kentucky and Florida in the NCAA Championships will mark the third time since April 1 that the two teams will face each other. Kentucky took the first match of the year, defeating the Gators 4-3 in Gainesville behind a three-set wins from freshman Tom Jomby. The win was the first for UK in a regular-season match in Gainesville since 1988.
The Gators took home the victory in the second meeting, taking down the Wildcats in the SEC Championship match on April 23. The host Gators took the doubles point and won three hard-fought single matches to claim the 4-0 victory.
Kentucky (28-8) is enjoying its winningest season in school history after defeating Cleveland State 4-0 and No. 24 Louisville 4-3 in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships last weekend in Lexington, Ky. The win over Louisville was clinched by a three-set thrilling win from No. 53 Alex Musialek over No. 93 Viktor Maksimcuk.
The Wildcats have qualified for the NCAA Championships 22 times under 29th-year head coach Dennis Emery, including 17 of the last 18 years. Kentucky is making its second consecutive appearance in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 19 years. UK's has advanced as far as the quarterfinals three times (1988, 1992 and 2002).
Kentucky enters the round of 16 with three ranked singles players and one ranked doubles tandem. Junior No. 6 Eric Quigley leads the Wildcats, while fellow junior Musialek is No. 53 and senior Alberto Gonzalez is No. 90. In doubles, Quigley and senior Brad Cox are ranked 19th in the nation.
Florida advanced to the Sweet 16 after grabbing a pair of 4-0 wins over South Carolina State in the opening round and Miami (Fla.) in the second round. The appearance in the round of 16 is Florida's ninth in the last 10 seasons under head coach Andy Jackson, who is an alum of Kentucky. UF has also won 20-plus matches for the second straight season (21-5 in 2010), the fourth time Florida has earned back-to-back 20-win seasons.
Thursday, May 19, Men's Team Round of 16
9 a.m. - Taube South - No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 Duke
9 a.m. - Taube Stadium - No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 California
12 p.m. - Taube South - No. 7 Florida vs. No. 10 Kentucky
12 p.m. - Taube Stadium - No. 2 USC vs. No. 15 Georgia Tech
3 p.m. - Taube South - No. 5 Baylor vs. No. 12 UCLA
3 p.m. - Taube Stadium - No. 4 Ohio State vs. Tulsa
6 p.m. - Taube South - No. 1 Virginia vs. Illinois
6 p.m. - Taube Stadium - No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 9 Texas A&M