AUBURN, Ala.— No. 14 Kentucky fell to No. 26 Auburn, 4-1, on Saturday afternoon at the Yarbrough Tennis Center.
“I thought it was a great effort all the way around,” Auburn head coach Eric Shore said. “I think the tiebreaker in the No. 1 doubles was huge, it gave us some momentum. We got off to a good start in singles, but they fought back. It was a good win.”
In doubles, Auburn won the first match after No. 63 Alex Stamchev and Andreas Mies upset Kentucky’s No. 41 Alberto Gonzalez and Tom Jomby, 8-3. On Court 3, Kentucky’s Alex Musialek and Anthony Rossi defeated Lucas Lopasso and Rafael Rondino, 8-4.
The Tigers would secure the doubles point in exciting fashion as Tim Puetz and Daniel Cochrane beat No. 48 Eric Quigley and Brad Cox, 9-8 (6).
After a 25-minute delay during the middle of singles play because of inclement weather, singles matches were moved indoors. No. 104 Stamchev gave Auburn a 2-0 lead by defeating Cox, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
In the No. 6 position, Rondino earned a three-set victory over Jomby, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
No. 31 Puetz clinched the win for the Tigers by upsetting No. 4 Quigley in a three-set thriller, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-1. The Usingen, Germany native is now 6-2 against ranked opponents on the year.
“What can you say about our captain?” Shore said of Puetz. “I wouldn’t trade him for anybody, that guy is a stud. He steps up, and that is what he did today.”
According to Wildcats’ head coach Dennis Emery, Kentucky did not step up in their first conference road match. “Auburn was just better than us today,” Emery said. “We knew they were very good at home and very talented. We had plenty of opportunities today that we did not take advantage of. Auburn is a top-15 team at home and having a chance to beat them today required a better emotional day from us than what we got.”
No. 47 Musialek toppled Auburn’s Tim Hewitt in three sets, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 for Kentucky’s lone victory of the day on Court 2.
No. 105 Cochrane was ahead on No. 117 Gonzalez 7-5, 1-6, 6-5, before the match was concluded. No. 121 Mies was trailing 6-4, 6-7, 0-3 to Kentucky’s No. 77 Rossi.
Kentucky’s loss snapped a five-match win streak.