LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 12-seed University of Kentucky men’s tennis team posted a 4-0 victory over Cleveland State in first-round action of the NCAA Championships on Saturday at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.
Kentucky (24-8) will play Georgia Tech (18-7) in the second round Sunday at 1 p.m. EST. The Yellow Jackets defeated Binghamton 4-1 earlier Saturday. With the victory, Kentucky ties the school record for wins in a season with the 1992 and 1984 squads.
The Wildcats earned the doubles point and singles victories at Nos. 1, 2 and 5 singles to advance to the second round for the seventh time since 2000.
Kentucky jumped out to a 1-0 lead after earning the doubles point. The 23rd-ranked duo of Eric Quigley and Brad Cox posted an 8-5 win over Cleveland State’s Phil Orno and Ryan Hamning at No. 1 doubles. UK’s 76th-ranked tandem of Alberto Gonzalez and Alex Lambropoulos secured the doubles point with an 8-5 victory over the Vikings’ Rob Fox and John Haley at No. 2 doubles. Kentucky’s Alex Musialek and Anthony Rossi led Cleveland State’s Yannick Goossens and Chris Klepatz 7-2 at No. 3 doubles when play was stopped after the Gonzalez-Lambropoulos doubles win.
Quigley kept Kentucky’s momentum going when he gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead following his straight-sets 6-0, 6-3 win over Cleveland State’s Orno at No. 1 singles. Quigley, ranked No. 12 in the nation, improved to 20-6 in singles play this season, including a 10-1 mark since the start of April.
Gonzalez moves UK’s lead to 3-0 after notching a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Klepatz at No. 5 singles.
Musialek, ranked No. 49, sealed Kentucky’s team win with a 6-2, 6-2 victory against Goossens at No. 2 singles. Musialek took a 5-2 lead in the second set and was awarded the clinching game when Goossens was penalized a game for an unsportsmanlike code violation.
Three other matches were stopped when Kentucky secured the win. UK’s Cox led CSU’s Hamning 7-6 (7-2), 5-5 at No. 3 singles. UK’s Rossi led CSU’s Fox 6-2, 5-4 at No. 4 singles. UK’s Lambropoulos led CSU’s Haley 3-6, 6-2, 1-0 at No. 6 singles.
Cleveland State finishes its season at 20-7 having won the last three Horizon League championships.
It marks the second consecutive season Kentucky has defeated Cleveland State in the first round of the NCAA Championships. The Wildcats also charted a 4-0 victory in Lexington last season.
Kentucky Head Coach Dennis Emery
“We played really well in doubles and kept things rolling in singles as well. Our guys came out today, were prepared and really focused on this match.”
On the layoff following the SEC Championships:
“It’s always tough when you have three weeks off. We did a good job of serving and holding serve. We were able to make them play from behind today.”
Cleveland State Head Coach Brian Etzkin
On his team’s performance today …
“This is our third year in the NCAA Tournament in a roll and we felt that we gave ourselves a chance today. We have battled hard every year in the tournament and this year was better than last year. It was probable that we were going to lose this match but we looked around and thought that we saw four points out there. I want to congratulate Kentucky because they played great but I am really proud of our effort. Our seniors, Ryan Hamning and Phil Orno have led this team all four years and they wanted to extend this season. Even though we are playing Kentucky, the No. 12 team in the nation, we thought that we had a chance and just didn’t quite give it down today. It has been a record breaking season for us and I am proud of our accomplishments.”
On what his thoughts are about next season …
“We lose Ryan and Phil at Nos. 1 and 2 singles and they have also been our No. 1 doubles and whenever we needed a point they have come through. But we have everyone else coming back and we have good depth. We should be able to hold our depth in conference and we have some guys that I am comfortable can move towards the top and be successful. We are losing some experience but, it’s nothing that we can’t improve on.”
2010 NCAA Men’s Tennis Tournament
Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center
May 15, 2010
First Round – Match 2
No. 11 Kentucky (12-seed) 4, Cleveland State 0
1. No. 22 Brad Cox/Eric Quigley (UK) def. Phil Orno/Ryan Hamning (CSU) 8-5
2. No. 76 Alberto Gonzalez/Alex Lambropoulos (UK) def. Rob Fox/John Haley (CSU) 8-5
3. Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) led Yannick Goossens/Chris Klepatz (CSU) 7-2, dnf
1. No. 12 Eric Quigley (UK) def. Phil Orno (CSU) 6-0, 6-3
2. No. 49 Alex Musialek def. Yannick Goossens (CSU) 6-2, 6-2
3. Brad Cox (UK) led Ryan Hamning (CSU) 7-6 (7-2), 5-5, dnf
4. Anthony Rossi led Rob Fox (CSU) 6-2, 5-4, dnf
5. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) def. Chris Klepatz (CSU) 6-1, 6-2
6. Alex Lambropoulos (UK) led John Haley (CSU) 3-6, 6-2, 1-0, dnf
Order of Finish: Doubles: 1, 2* Singles: 1, 5, 2*