Kentucky rolls past Texas A&M
Wildcats move into quarterfinals at ITA Indoor Championships
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Behind a dominating performance in both doubles and singles action, sixth-ranked Kentucky posted an impressive 4-0 victory against No. 11 Texas A&M on Friday afternoon, advancing to the quarterfinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
The Wildcats started the match against Texas A&M (5-3) by claiming the doubles point with two wins against ranked tandems. UK’s top doubles duo of senior Eric Quigley and sophomore Panav Jha, who are ranked 55th in the nation in doubles, started the winning with a 8-6 victory against No. 55 Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore. Kentucky would clinch the doubles point at court two, when sophomore Tom Jomby and junior Anthony Rossi took down No. 36 John Lewis and Colin Hoover in extra frames 9-7. Play at No. 3 doubles was in a tiebreaker when UK clinched the doubles point.
“The doubles point was the key to the match,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We have struggled at times this season in doubles, dropping some tight doubles points, so it was big for us to win a tight doubles point today. That really gave us a shot of adrenaline. I thought that was the best doubles we have played all year.”
UK continued to perform well in singles action, winning first sets on four of the six courts. Sophomore Alejandro Gomez, who is ranked a career-best 87th in the nation in singles, gave UK a 2-0 lead in the match with a dominating 6-0, 6-2 win at No. 5 singles against Lewis. A few moments later, fellow sophomore No. 79 Jomby put Kentucky up 3-0 with a straight-sets 6-4, 6-3 win against Jeremy Efferding at No. 4 singles. Rossi, who is ranked a career-best 13th in the nation in singles, clinched the decisive fourth point for Kentucky when he defeated Ore 6-4, 6-3 at No. 3 singles.
Play on the other three singles courts was halted when Rossi clinched the match. Quigley, who is ranked sixth in nation in singles, was in a decisive third set at No. 1 singles with No. 15 Alexis Klegou, while No. 20 Alex Musialek had won his first set and was up 3-2 in the second against Hoover. Texas A&M led on court six as Withrow had taken the first set from Jha 6-4.
“When we play that well in singles, especially at courts four and five, we are very difficult to beat,” Emery said. “It really puts the pressure on their guys at 1-3 to have to beat our guys, who are all top 20 players.”