Username Or Email   Password   
Forgot  |  Register | FAQ
Home >   
Kentucky Breezes Into Regional Final With 4-0 Win
Saturday, 05/11/2013
( 0 ) ( 0 ) ( 0 )
Fist_Close(1).jpg
Wildcats advance to regional final vs. No. 41 Virginia Tech at 2:00 p.m. ET...

University of Kentucky Team Page

LEXINGTON, Ky. - With singles wins from No. 23 Tom Jomby, Kevin Lai and Grant Roberts, coupled with domination of the doubles point on all three courts, the eighth-ranked University of Kentucky men's tennis team surpassed a challenge from Western Michigan, as the Wildcats blanked the Broncos 4-0 in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Tennis Championship to advance to the regional final on Saturday. No. 8 Kentucky will take on No. 41 Virginia Tech on Saturday at 2:00 pm. ET for a spot in what woule be the Wildcats' fourth-consecutive Sweet 16. 
 
"Well, you have to give credit to Western Michigan," UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said, who collected his first-career NCAA Tournament win on Friday. "They played a little bit better singles today than I thought. They played hard. Going back to doubles, I thought our intensity was really, really good. I think it is hopefully going to carry on to tomorrow. After having to go inside after playing outside for a couple of weeks was a little bit of rust and dust, but I think we can take some positives and be ready for a confident Virginia Tech team tomorrow."
 
Kentucky got off to a fast start in the doubles, taking major leads on all three courts, and keeping them throughout the duration of the point. The Wildcats tandem of Juan Pablo Murra and senior Anthony Rossi took the early spotlight, capturing an 8-1 win on court three to get Kentucky on the board early in the match. The Wildcats would clinch the point on court two, where the newly-formed team of Beck Pennington and Ryuji Hirooka won 8-3.
 
Hirooka and Pennington first played together only dating back to March 29, where they picked up their third win of the season as a team. Murra and Rossi played for the first time together at the Southeastern Conference Tournament two weeks ago in Oxford, Miss., as they are now 2-1 on the season. 
 
After doubles, No. 23 Tom Jomby eased his way through a 14-minute first set taking his match 6-0, 6-4 and giving the Wildcats the early 2-0 lead overall. Jomby with the win collected his 20th win of the season, joining Rossi as the only team member to reach 20 wins. Jomby took the first set with three breaks and three holds, before Western Michigan's Ross VanderPloeg made the second set tough. After eight-straight games of hold, Jomby broke at 5-4 to close the match and take the 6-4 second-set win.
 
Kevin Lai, playing on court four for the third time this season, earned Kentucky's third point as he took a 6-2, 7-6 (3) win to give UK the 3-0 lead. Lai marched his way through the opening set, breaking at 5-2 to capture the set and take the early lead in the match. After being broken to start the second set, Lai rallied from down 5-4 to force a tiebreak in the second frame. In the tiebreak, the freshman from Taiwan rushed out to a 4-0 lead, before seeing it evaporate to a 4-3 margin just a few points later. Lai then collected himself and served out two points to take the 6-3 edge, and won a point on his opponent, Ruben Greiner's serve to take the tiebreak, and the match, 7-3.
 
Grant Roberts, the Lexington, Ky., native and Tates Creek High School graduate then stepped up and clinched the match for the Wildcats with a 6-1, 6-1 obliteration of Andrew Cahn to secure the 4-0 win and a spot in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Roberts was not broken at all during the match, and won 12 of the 14 games played. After falling behind 0-1 to start the first set, Roberts would proceed to rattle off the next 11 games in a row before Cahn held to make Roberts serve out the match at 5-1. This was one of five clinched matches for Roberts on the year, including top-10 wins over Oklahoma and Georgia.
 
Senior Anthony Rossi took the opening set from Nadin Indre in dramatic fashion, collecting the tiebreak, 7-5. Rossi was up a break for the middle part of the first set, before Nadin battled back and got things on serve heading into the tiebreak. After falling behind 3-1 in the tiebreak, Rossi battled back to win seven of the last nine points to take the tiebreak 7-4. In the second set, Rossi surrendered an early break in the second set, before battling back again to force a tiebreak. Rossi was down 1-4 and 2-5 before Indre served for the set and was broken by Rossi. Rossi then held serve his final three opportunities and forced the second-set tiebreak. In the tiebreak, Indre was ahead 2-0 when Roberts clinched the match for Kentucky.
 
Beck Pennington's match with Pablo Mora was on serve at 1-1 at the time of clinch at court No. 6.
 
Both matches of the Lexington Regional were moved indoors on Friday due to inclement weather. Skies are expected to clear for Saturday's regional final between No. 41 Virginia Tech and No. 8 Kentucky. 
 
Virginia Tech used powerful singles play to pull the upset of No. 23 Michigan in Friday's opening first-round match. VT collected wins at positions number two, three, four and five to power past the Wolverines.
 
Tomorrow's match for a spot in the Sweet 16 between No. 8 Kentucky and No. 41 Virginia Tech will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center in Lexington, Ky.
 
2013 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament
First Round - Lexington Regional - Lexington, Ky.
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center
No. 41 Virginia Tech 4, No. 23 Michigan 2
 
Doubles: (Order of finish: 3, 1*)
 
1- No. 57 Evan King/Alex Buzzi (U-M) def. No. 80 Andreas Bjerrehus/Hunter Koontz (VT) 8-3 
2- Alex Petrone/Michael Zhu (U-M) vs. Amerigo Contini/Marko Lovrinovic (VT) 4-4 (Abd.)
3- Shaun Bernstein/Barrett Franks (U-M) def. Loao Monteiro/Lucas Olivera (VT) 8-4
 
Singles: (Order of finish: 3, 1, 4, 2, 5*)
 
1- No. 13 Evan King (U-M) def. No. 61 Amerigo Contini (VT) 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
2- No. 97 Andreas Bjerrehus (VT) def. Alex Petrone (U-M) 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4
3- Hunter Koontz (VT) def. No. 125 Vlad Stefan (U-M) 6-3, 6-3
4- Joao Monterio (VT) def. Barrett Franks (U-M) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
5- Lucas Oliveira (VT) def. Michael Zhu (U-M) 6-1, 6-4
6- Alex Buzzi (U-M) led Aaron Gomez (VT) 6-2, 1-3 (Abd.)
 
Virginia Tech Head Coach Jim Thompson
 
Opening Statement...
 
"What a great win for our program. We have been fighting hard all year and have had a lot of 4-3 matches go against us. Our guys did a great job battling today and we are proud of them."
 
On the matchup with Kentucky tomorrow...
 
"I haven't looked that far ahead. Michigan is a great team and we knew we were going to be in a big war with them. We look forward to the opportunity to play whoever tomorrow."
 
Michigan Head Coach Bruce Berque
 
On winning doubles point...
 
"In the doubles, we played with good energy and intensity. We played with great discipline and I think we were a lot better in doubles play. I think it might have given us a false sense of security. Doubles and singles are very different games. We won the decisive match for the point and I think our guys thought that was how it was going to be for the singles as well. It wasn't the same type of toughness in the singles that we showed in the doubles."
 
On singles matches...
 
"Evan (King) is very confident and even when he loses a set he is still confident. We had a little bit of bad luck on some courts. We were about to close out on court six and did not get to finish. There were a couple of things that didn't go our way. Virginia Tech did a great job and were tough competitors. Doubles is one point and singles is six points. We won doubles and they won singles."
 
2013 NCAA Men's Tennis Tournament
First Round - Lexington Regional - Lexington, Ky.
Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center
No. 8 Kentucky 4, Western Michigan 0
 
Doubles: (Order of finish: 3, 2*)
 
1- No. 9 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) led Nadin Indre/Ruben Greiner (WMU) 6-3 (Abd.)
2- Ryuji Hirooka/Beck Pennington (UK) def. Aaron Wong/Jim Beckwith (WMU) 8-3
3- Anthony Rossi/Juan Pablo Murra (UK) def. Ross VenderPloeg/Andrew Cahn (WMU) 8-1
 
Singles: (Order of finish: 2, 4, 5*)
 
1- No. 5 Anthony Rossi (UK) led Nadin Indre (WMU) 7-6 (5), 6-6 (1-2) (Abd.)
2- No. 23 Tom Jomby (UK) def. Ross VanderPloeg (WMU) 6-0, 6-4
3- Aaron Wong (WMU) led Charles Minc (UK) 7-6 (5), 1-6, 4-1 (Abd.)
4- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Ruben Greiner (WMU) 6-2, 7-6 (3)
5- Grant Roberts (UK) def. Andrew Cahn (WMU) 6-1, 6-1
6- Beck Pennington (UK) vs. Pablo Mora (WMU) 1-1 (Abd.)
 
Western Michigan Head Coach Dave Morin
 
Opening Statement...
 
"I think our guys represented the Mid-American Conference and our university in a great way. We earned our way to get here. Kentucky did it first class and it has been a great experience for our guys." 
 
On the growth of the team...
 
"We saw quite a bit. Different guys were in different roles. They moved from four to two and these young guys playing division one tennis for the first time. We did it as a team. No one was thinking about themselves. They were thinking about how can I get better and help the team out. This was a fun group to coach and we had a great year."
 
Kentucky Head Coach Cedric Kauffmann
 
Opening statement ...
 
"Well, you have to give credit to Western Michigan. They played a little bit better singles today than I thought. They played hard. Going back to doubles, I thought our intensity was really, really good. I think it is hopefully going to carry on to tomorrow. After having to go inside after playing outside for a couple of weeks was a little bit of rust and dust, but I think we can take some positives and be ready for a confident Virginia Tech team tomorrow." 
 
Kentucky Student-Athlete Kevin Lai
 
On his doubles play with Tom Jomby ...
 
"Well, actually I think I think he has the strength of the team. He goes fast, and is powerful. I just find the opportunities at the net and try to finish it for him. That is pretty much what we did today. I move fast and he is just really powerful."
 
For continuing coverage of UK men's tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.


7/29/2014
7/15/2014
6/30/2014
6/24/2014
6/24/2014
5/28/2014
5/20/2014
5/19/2014
5/18/2014
5/15/2014
5/13/2014
5/9/2014
5/7/2014
5/7/2014
5/4/2014