Kentucky back in Round of 16 after scoring 4-1 win against Virginia Tech
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- For the first time in program history, Kentucky advanced to its fourth consecutive NCAA Round of 16, as the eighth-ranked Wildcats won the Lexington Regional final 4-1 against No. 41 Virginia Tech on Saturday at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center.
“I am just happy for the guys," said UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann, who earned his first Round of 16 appearance as a head coach. “They have been working hard since September and we have been stressing out the championship season. The SEC championship, the SEC tournament and the NCAAs. We are playing good.”
UK had twice moved through to three consecutive Round of 16s before Saturday’s win against the Hokies.
Kentucky raced out to a fast start in doubles play, dictating the play at Courts 1 and 3, where they would clinch the point.
No. 9 Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai only dropped one of the nine games played in the match, as the ninth-ranked tandem breezed to an 8-1 win against No. 80 Andreas Bjerrehus and Hunter Koontz.
On Court 3, the newly formed tandem of Anthony Rossi and Juan Pablo Murra fell behind an early break in the match at 1-2, but then rattled off wins in seven of the last eight games to win their match against Joao Montiero and Lucas Oliveira 8-3.
Kentucky upped its record to 14-2 on the season when it wins the doubles point, as the Wildcats won both of the doubles points in this weekend’s regional.
In singles play, Kentucky dominated three matches, putting a swift end to the match by virtue of wins on Courts 1, 2 and 5.
On Court 2, Jomby won his 21st match of the season, putting No. 97 Bjerrehus in a hole early and never letting him back into the match. Jomby won 6-1, 6-2 to complete his 2-0 weekend, and collect his 13th win of the season against a ranked singles opponent.
On Court 1, it was more of the same for Rossi, who played the final home match of his career. Rossi defeated No. 61 Amerigo Contini 6-0, 6-2, collecting his team-high 24th win of the season. Rossi defeated his 12th ranked opponent of the season, and upped his record to 24-5. Rossi was the third win of the match for the Wildcats, as they took the early 3-0 lead.
The clinching match came again from Lexington, Ky., native Grant Roberts on Court 5 as he downed Oliveira 6-0, 6-2. The win was Roberts’ second consecutive clinching win. Roberts also clinched matches against No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 10 Mississippi State, No. 6 Georgia.