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LEXINGTON, Ky. – After blazing through the Southeastern Conference with an 11-0 record a year ago and capturing the school’s second SEC Championship, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team will begin the season ranked No. 9 in the nation, it was announced by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Thursday afternoon.
Kentucky joins four other SEC teams in Georgia (6th), Mississippi State (11th), Florida (12th) and Ole Miss (13th) as the only conference to have five teams ranked inside the top 13 of the nation.
In addition to the team ranking of No. 9, UK had three players ranked in the top 100 of the nation, including Tom Jomby, who earned a career-high ranking of 15th in the nation to begin the 2013 campaign. The junior from Nantes, France had one of his best spring seasons as a Wildcat, recording multiple wins over top-ranked players in the country.
Joining Jomby in the national preseason rankings is senior captain Anthony Rossi, who collected a national ranking of 94th. The standout All-American from a year ago collected some of the biggest wins en route to Kentucky’s SEC title a year ago, and will assume a top spot on the Wildcats playing order this season. In addition, freshman standout Juan Pablo Murra collected a ranking of 97th in the nation, marking the third UK player to break the national rankings.
In doubles, Kentucky also had a team ranked in Jomby and Freshman Kevin Lai. The duo that meshed so well in the spring earned the 35th spot in the ITA’s rankings released Thursday. Jomby and Lai combined to make the finals of the ITA Regional National Indoor Championships, beating some of the top-ranked teams in the nation en route to the finals. Jomby and Lai also turned in stellar performances at Olympia Fields and the USTA Clay Court Invite in Tallahassee, Fla. to complete their fall.
Including the Wildcats, a total of 12 SEC schools are ranked in the poll, marking an unprecedented beginning to the season for one of the nation’s toughest conferences to play in.
Kentucky will begin the 2013 season with two matches at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky., on Jan. 20 as UK will play host to Northern Kentucky at 11:00 a.m. ET followed by a nigh match at 5:00 p.m. ET with in-state foe Morehead State.
For continuing coverage of UK men’s tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.