STARKVILLE, Miss. – After dropping the doubles point on the road to the 13th-ranked team in the nation, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team won four of the completed five singles matches, as the Wildcats knocked off Mississippi State 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.
With the win, Kentucky wins its fourth consecutive Southeastern Conference match and completes a Mississippi sweep as the Wildcats also knocked off No. 4 Ole Miss on Friday afternoon in Starkville, Miss.
“A tremendous effort by the boys today,” UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. “Going down in the doubles didn’t do us any favors, but we stayed positive and did not panic. They all stayed committed to one another and communicated that to each other.”
The Wildcats now sit at 16-4 overall on the season and remain tied atop the SEC East Division with a 4-1 record in SEC play.
Kentucky dropped the doubles point for just the sixth time all season as the Bulldogs were able to pick up wins on courts one and two to solidify the point. On court three, Anthony Rossi and Grant Roberts moved to 3-1 in SEC play and 8-3 overall, picking up an 8-5 win on court three.
Kentucky would go on to dominate the singles portion of the match, winning four of the five completed matches, with the sixth match on serve in the final set at 4-4.
The first singles match to go final was on court five as junior Grant Roberts had a quick dismissal of Pedro Dumont 6-3, 6-1. With the win, Roberts moves to 6-1 on the year with a 2-0 SEC record as he caps off his 4-0 weekend in singles and doubles action.
UK would open up a 2-1 lead as Charles Minc moved past MSU’s Zach White with a 6-4, 6-1 win on court four. The win was Minc’s first in two weeks as Minc moves to 8-5 overall and picks up his second-career SEC win.
The lead would be expanded to 3-1 when Kevin Lai capped off his undefeated week with a 6-1, 6-3 straight-set win over Stefan Vinti of Mississippi State on court six. Lai continued to keep his undefeated streak alive, as the freshman is now 9-0 on the year overall and 2-0 in SEC action, with both career SEC wins coming this weekend.
After MSU tightened the match at 3-2, Rossi capped off the match with a straight-set win over No. 18 Romain Bogaerts of MSU for the 4-2 win. The win was Rossi’s first in singles play since the opening weeks of the month, as he picked up his 97th-career win 7-6 (3), 6-3. After jumping out to a 6-1 lead in the opening-set tiebreaker, Rossi continued to put his foot on the gas, collecting an early break in the second set. After giving it back, Rossi broke at 4-3 for 5-3 and served out the match on the fourth match point to seal it 6-3.
“This road trip to beat Ole Miss and Mississippi State outside is always extremely difficult,” Kauffmann said. “The boys aced the challenge and I am so proud of them.”
Kentucky will return home for its final homestand of the season, which stretches seven matches beginning on Friday with the Tennessee Volunteers with doubles play beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET. Georgia will come to Lexington on Sunday.
No. 10 Kentucky 4, No. 13 Mississippi State 2
A.J. Pitts Tennis Center – Starkville, Miss.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Doubles: (Order of finish: 3, 1, 2*)
1- No. 14 Jordan Angus/Maltte Stropp (MSU) def. No. 23 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) 9-8 (0)
2- Zach White/Ethan Wilkinson (MSU) def. Alejandro Gomez/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) 8-5
3- Grant Roberts/Anthony Rossi (UK) def. Romain Bogaerts/Pedro Dumont (MSU) 8-5
Singles: (Order of finish: 5, 4, 6, 3, 1*)
1- No. 31 Anthony Rossi (UK) def. No. 18 Romain Bogaerts (MSU) 7-6 (3), 6-3
2- No. 32 Tom Jomby (UK) vs. No. 59 Malte Stropp (MSU) 6-3, 6-7 (4), 4-4 (Abd.)
3- Jordan Angus (MSU) def. Alejandro Gomez (UK) 7-5. 6-2
4- Charles Minc (UK) def. Zach White (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
5- Grant Roberts (UK) def. Pedro Dumont (MSU) 6-3, 6-1
6- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Stefan Vinti (MSU) 6-1, 6-3