University of Kentucky Defeats Radford to Advance to NCAA Second Round
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Playing for the first time in 19 days, the sixth-ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team dusted off the rust from the long layover to earn a 4-0 win over Radford in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament on Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Ky.
The win advances Kentucky (27-5) to the second round of the event for the fourth consecutive year. UK will face No. 26 Indiana (22-8) in the second round on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET at the Boone Tennis Center. IU advanced to the second round with a 4-2 win over No. 34 Louisville on Friday. UK and IU met once earlier this season with Kentucky posting a 7-0 victory in Lexington.
“We played Indiana earlier and it’s a completely different match (tomorrow),” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “The thing about those early season matchups is that you play them indoors so you’re playing on, now, a different surface. Most of the time you have completely different matchups than you have in February so even though you win early on, there are certainly no guarantees later in the year. I know Indiana has really improved throughout the season. I think they won 10 of their last 11 matches. They’re coming in here very confident tomorrow.”
UK’s win over Radford is its 12th win in the last 13 matches and its seventh consecutive at home. All told, Kentucky is an impressive 15-1 at home this season and 61-10 at home since the start of the 2009 season. This is Kentucky’s 23rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament, posting a 20-22 overall record in the event.
“Radford is a very good team,” Emery said. “These teams you get in the NCAAs, they come in and they’re very confident. They’ve won their conference tournament and they’re the underdogs so they’re going for things and swinging from the heels a little bit. We won three matches fairly comfortably but we really are going to have to do more if we want to beat Indiana and achieve our goals.”
The Wildcats started the match with Radford by winning the doubles point, moving its record this season to 20-0 when it wins doubles. Kentucky’s No. 3 duo of sophomores Tom Jomby and Alejandro Gomez started the action in doubles by taking down Joe Mills and Patrick O’Keefe 8-3 at court three. UK would then clinch the doubles point at court one with its top duo of senior Eric Quigley and sophomore Panav Jha, who are ranked seventh in the nation together. The UK tandem sealed the doubles point with an 8-5 victory over Nick Sayer and Thomas Dehaen at court one.
UK clinched the match with three straight-set singles wins from No. 3 Quigley, No. 22 Anthony Rossi and No. 111 Gomez. Quigley was the first to finish, taking down No. 120 Sayer 6-2, 6-1 at court one. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., is now 48-6 on the season and 25-1 in dual matches. The victory over the ranked Sayer was Quigley’s 17th over a ranked foe this season and his 11th consecutive. UK is 23-2 this season when Quigley wins a singles match.
Gomez gave Kentucky a 2-0 lead in the match with his impressive win at court five. The native of Cali, Colombia, dominated both the first and second sets for the Wildcats, defeating Mills 6-2, 6-1. Gomez is now 39-12 on the season and 19-8 in dual matches. The sophomore has won eight of his last nine matches, while UK is 19-1 when he wins in singles.
Rossi was the clinching point for Kentucky against the Highlanders, earning an impressive victory at No. 3 singles over Stijn Meulemans. After winning the first set 6-2, Rossi controlled the second set from the start, posting a 6-0 victory to claim the win and the match for Kentucky. The native of Marseille, France, is now 37-6 on the season and 22-4 in dual matches. Rossi has won seven consecutive matches that ended in a decision, including 11 of his last 12.
Three matches remained on court when Rossi clinched the match with UK taking first sets in two of the three. Senior No. 15 Alex Musialek had taken the first set over Igor Ogrizek 6-4 and was up a break 3-1 in the second set at court two. Sophomore Grant Roberts took the first set 6-4 over O’Keefe at court six, while O’Keefe had battled back to go up 4-0 in the second set. No. 80 Jomby had dropped the first set at court four to Dehaen 7-5, but was on serve in the second set 1-1.
“I think we really have to pick it up tomorrow if we’re going to be the team in the post season that we want to be,” Emery said. “We’ve been the team that we wanted to be all year. I didn’t see quite that same intensity today. That’s a concern. We want to get back to where we have that momentum and we feel like we’re out working the other teams and out competing the other teams.”
Admission to the UK-IU match tomorrow is $6 for adults and $4 for children/seniors. Fans that purchased an all-tournament pass Friday will be granted admission to the match on Saturday. Gates to the tennis complex will open at 1 p.m. ET. Parking is available in the R-3 surface lots surrounding the tennis facility. Fans can also park in Parking Structure 7 and are encouraged to purchase a $3 parking voucher at the ticket gate upon entering the facility. Cash only is accepted at the ticket gate.
Live scores from the Kentucky-Indiana match along with a live interactive blog for fans will be available online at UKathletics.com. For more detailed information on the NCAA First and Second Rounds, go to the tournament central page at http://www.ukathletics.com/ncaatennis/.
For more information on the UK men’s tennis team, follow “UKMensTennis” on Twitter or “University of Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team” on Facebook.
Kentucky Head Coach Dennis Emery
On playing Indiana tomorrow in the second round …
“No, it should be a good one. As somebody said earlier, this would be a tremendous basketball regional with Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana. We played Indiana earlier and it’s a completely different match. The thing about those early season matchups is that you play them indoors so you’re playing on, now, a different surface. Most of the time you have completely different matchups than you have in February so even though you win early on, there are certainly no guarantees later in the year. I know Indiana has really improved throughout the season. I think they won 10 of their last 11 matches. They’re coming in here very confident tomorrow.”
On how important is to stay focused in matches like today’s...
“It’s certainly important because it’s still kind of hot. It’s not break-your-back hot or cramping hot but it’s hot so you want to get out and get the match under your belt and get off and get rested. Especially because the NCAA rule is that the home team has to play second. So, you’re automatically playing on less rest than the other team.”
On whether he will look at the match against IU in January to prepare for tomorrow…
“We’ll scout them based on that but indoor tennis and outdoor tennis is just so different. Certainly you’ll know what patterns they like to use. They’re playing some of the same doubles teams so there are a lot of things we can take away from that match. Certainly we’re happy we won that match instead of losing it.”
On whether he saw what he wanted to today to stay on track to the Final Four…
“Not really. I think we really have to pick it up tomorrow if we’re going to be the team in the post season that we want to be. We’ve been the team that we wanted to be all year. I didn’t see quite that same intensity today. That’s a concern. We want to get back to where we have that momentum and we feel like we’re out working the other teams and out competing the other teams. Today I felt like we tried to rely a little bit too much on our talent. It’s not something that we generally do as a program.”
On what he uses as evidence of his team’s need for more intensity…
“I watch my team play. I’ve watched them. I don’t know what our record is, we’ve played 31 matches and we didn’t come with what we needed to come with today. Radford is a very good team. These teams you get in the NCAAs, they come in and they’re very confident. They’ve won their conference tournament and they’re the underdogs so they’re going for things and swinging from the heels a little bit. We won three matches fairly comfortably but we really are going to have to do more if we want to beat Indiana and achieve our goals. It’s not me that thinks that. I’m sure every guy in the locker room feels that way.”
Radford Head Coach Mike Anderson
On the match …
“Well, I thought it was a match between a really good team and a great team and unfortunately we were the really good team today. Kentucky is just a great team and program. They have had a fantastic year and playing them here on their home court in front of their crowd was a daunting task for us. I think we gave them a good go, but they are just a great team. We didn’t lose today, we got beat.”
On their season overall …
“We had a really good season. Our team is not made up of any standout player it is just solid down the line. We trained really hard and dominated the Big South Conference. We didn’t lose a match this season or drop a point in the tournament. If we had a weakness in our season it was just that we didn’t play enough big-time competition to get us prepared for something like this. Again, hats off to Kentucky they are a great team.”
2012 NCAA Championships
No. 6 Kentucky 4, Radford 0
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center - Lexington, Ky.
Friday, May 11, 2012
First Round - Match 2
1 - No. 3 Eric Quigley (UK) def. No. 120 Nick Sayer (RU) 6-2, 6-1
2 - No. 15 Alex Musialek (UK) vs. Igor Ogrizek (RU) DNF
3 - No. 22 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Stijn Meulemans (RU) 6-2, 6-0
4 - No. 80 Tom Jomby (UK) vs. Thomas Dehaen (RU) DNF
5 - No. 111 Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Joe Mills (RU) 6-2, 6-1
6 - Grant Roberts (UK) vs. Patrick O’Keefe (RU) DNF
1 - No. 7 Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) def. Nick Sayer/Thomas Dehaen (RU) 8-5
2 - No. 38 Anthony Rossi/Alex Musialek (UK) def. Igor Ogrizek/Stijn Meulemans (RU) DNF
3 - Tom Jomby/Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. Joe Mills/Patrick O'Keefe (RU) 8-3
Order of Finish: Records:
Singles - 1, 5, 3* Kentucky 27-5
Doubles - 3, 1* Radford 20-6