Feb. 21, 2009
The fourth-ranked Tennessee men's tennis team suffered only its second loss of the season Saturday afternoon, as the Vols fell to 31st-ranked Kentucky, 4-2 at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center.
"Kentucky out-competed us today and I have to give congratulations to them. They played very well today," UT head men's tennis coach Sam Winterbotham said. "We need to get better. We'll strive together as a program to get better. We're going to learn from this and move on."
The match of the day was on the No. 1 singles court where two top-10 netters were battling. UT's John-Patrick Smith, ranked ninth, dominated the first set to win, 6-2. In the second set, Kentucky's Bruno Agostinelli, ranked eighth, overcame a break to tie the set and then won in a tiebreaker to force a final set. In the third and final set, Smith was ahead 4-2 before Agostinelli again was able to battle back and force a tiebreaker. The Wildcat won the tiebreaker to win the battle between the two school's No. 1 netters and also clinch the upset for Kentucky.
UT (7-2) lost the doubles point for the third consecutive match to fall behind 1-0. Graeme Dyce and Eric Quigley defeated Boris Conkic and Matteo Fago at the No. 2 position, 8-5 and Alberto Gonzalez and Alex Musialek defeated Christian Hansen and Jeremy Tweedt, 8-6 at the No. 3 position to win the point.
The Vols showed no hangover from the doubles point at the beginning of singles as UT won the first set in the first four singles matches played.
Conkic got the Vols on the board with a straight-set win over Cox at the No. 2 position, 6-4, 6-2.
But Conkic was the only Vol who capitalized on his first set win as the only three Volunteers dropped the second set to force a third and final set.
Fago gave the Vols a brief lead, 2-1, as the Italy native defeated Dyce, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. The UT sophomores is 7-0 this season in dual-match play.
Kentucky would win on the final three courts, though to upset the Volunteers.
Quigley battled back to defeat Sandgren in a third-set tiebreaker to tie the match.
Musialek defeated Matt Brewer, 6-3, 7-5 at the No. 5 position to give Kentucky a 3-2 lead.
Tennessee leads the all-time series with Kentucky, 43-36.
The Vols return to action March 6, when they begin SEC play with a trip to Mississippi State. The match is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET.
|No. 31 Kentucky 4 No. 4 Tennessee 2|
|1.||No. 8 Bruno Agostinelli (UK)||def.||No. 9 John-Patrick Smith (UT)||2-6, 7-6, 7-6*|
|2.||No. 20 Boris Conkic (UT)||def.||Brad Cox (UK)||6-4, 6-2|
|3.||No. 83 Eric Quigley (UK)||def.||Davey Sandgren (UT)||5-7, 6-4, 7-6|
|4.||No. 103 Matteo Fago (UT)||def.||Graeme Dyce (UK)||6-2, 5-7, 6-3|
|5.||Alex Musialek (UK)||def.||Matt Brewer (UT)||6-3, 7-5|
|6.||Jeremy Tweedt (UT)||led||Alberto Gonzalez (UK)||6-2, 1-0|
|Order of Finish: 2,4,3,5,1|
|1.||Sandgren/Smith (UT)||def.||No. 30 Agostinelli/Cox (UK)||9-7|
|2.||Dyce/Quigley (UK)||def.||Conkic/Fago (UT)||8-5|
|3.||Gonzalez/Musialek (UK)||def.||Hansen/Tweedt (UT)||8-6|
|Order of Finish: 2,3,1|