LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team lost a match at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center for the first time since March 19, 2012 as the No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers outlasted No. 4 Kentucky 4-1 on Friday afternoon.
Kentucky was unable to capture the doubles point, as the Wildcats fell on courts one and two in extremely tight matches. No. 23 Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai fell down double break in the early part of the match and were never able to recover as they were the first match off at 8-5. The final two matches would end up being extremely tight, as both were on serve at 7-7 with the doubles point in limbo. Tennessee’s pair of Brandon Fickey and Jarryd Chaplin picked up a break at 7-7 for 8-7 and then served out the match to give the Vols the 9-7.
On court three, Grant Roberts and Anthony Rossi were on serve and ahead a 8-7 over Taylor Patrick and Ed Jones at the time of stoppage.
In singles, Kentucky played many tough sets, before Tennessee was finally able to clinch the match on court one.
Kentucky’s lone point came from junior Alejandro Gomez, as the Mexico native jumped out of the gates and never looked back. Gomez went up double break at 6-1 to cruise to a first-set win on court three. In the second set, Gomez broke to go up 3-1 quickly, before getting broken back at 4-3 to put things back on serve. At 4-4 in the tiebreak, Tennessee’s Brandon Fickey was defaulted for unsportsmanlike conduct, and gave Gomez the win.
Grant Roberts on court five was able to capture the first set in his match on court five 6-4 at the time Tennessee clinched the match. Roberts led 40-0 in the opening game of the second set. Roberts was up a break most of the set, before breaking at 5-4 to capture the set 6-4.
Kevin Lai was down a break early on in his match on court six, but battled back to take the 5-4 lead at the time the match was abandoned.
With the loss, Kentucky falls to 16-5, (4-2 Southeastern Conference) and now sits one game back of Eastern Division leader, Georgia. Kentucky plays No. 6 Georgia on Sunday in a battle for the East Division lead at 2:00 p.m. ET in Lexington. Admission and parking are free.
No. 9 Tennessee 4, No. 4 Kentucky 1
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center – Lexington, Ky.
Doubles: (Order of finish: 1, 2*)
1- No. 17 Mikelis Libietis/Hunter Reese (UT) def. No 23 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) 8-5
2- Brandon Fickey/Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Alejandro Gomez/Ryuji Hirooka (UK) 9-7
3- Grant Roberts/Anthony Rossi (UK) led Taylor Patrick/Ed Jones (UT) 8-7 (Abd.)
Singles: (Order of finish: 4, 3, 2, 1*)
1- No. 6 Mikelis Libietis (UT) def. No 6 Anthony Rossi (UK) 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3
2- No 29 Hunter Reese (UT) def. No. 32 Tom Jomby (UK) 7-6 (2), 6-3
3- Alejandro Gomez (UK) def. No. 115 Brandon Fickey (UT) 6-2, 6-6 (4-4) (Default – code violation)
4- Jarryd Chaplin (UT) def. Charles Minc (UK) 6-2, 6-1
5- Grant Roberts (UK) led Ed Jones (UT) 6-4 (Abd.)
6- Kevin Lai (UK) led Taylor Patrick (UT) 5-4 (Abd.)
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