No. 9 Kentucky Rallies To Edge Third-Ranked Georgia, 4-3

March 30, 2012

Final Stats

ATHENS-----The third-ranked Georgia men's tennis team had its eight-match winning streak snapped, falling to No. 9 Kentucky, 4-3, at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex Friday.

In a match that spanned more than five hours and included four rain delays, Tom Jomby outlasted No. 33 Ignacio Taboada in a third-set tiebreaker as the Wildcats rallied from a 3-2 deficit and improved to 19-4 and 7-0 in SEC play. The Bulldogs suffered their first SEC loss of the season and first home loss, falling to 16-2 overall and 6-1 in league action.

"I can't be anything but proud of the way we played," said Georgia head coach Manuel Diaz. "Our guys fought, but today Kentucky was the better team. It came down to the last match in a tiebreaker, and we just came up a little short. Kentucky deserved to win. They had to win the last two matches, and we only needed one, and they were just a little too good for us."

Kentucky won a pair of matches at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles to take a 1-0 lead. At No. 1, the tandem of 17th-ranked Panav Jha and Eric Quigley beat 34th-ranked Hernus Pieters and Taboada, 8-2 to give UK the early edge. The Wildcats clinched the point at No. 2, where Alex Musialek and Anthony Rossi downed Sadio Doumbia and Nathan Pasha, 8-4.

KU Singh and Wil Spencer had match point against Alejandro Gomez and Jomby at No. 3 when the match was suspended.

After a pair of rain delays just into the start of singles, Pieters won the first competed match at No. 5 against Gomez, 6-4, 6-1, to tie the score at 1-1. Pasha followed at No. 6 with a 7-6(8), 6-1 win over Grant Roberts to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.

Kentucky responded at No. 2 as 18th-ranked Musialek rallied to beat No. 24 Doumbia, 1-6, 6-0, 6-2, then Singh regained the lead for Georgia with a 6-4, 7-5 win over No. 22 Rossi at No. 3.

With matches 1 and 4 in the third sets, a fourth rain delay pushed the battle indoors with Quigley and Spencer on serve at No. 1 and Jomby and Taboada headed to the third set at No. 4. Seventh-ranked Quigley outlasted No. 8 Spencer, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, to tie the match at 3-3. Jomby then edged Taboada, 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(1) to give Kentucky the win after he trailed 4-2 in the third.

"There's a lot of tennis to be played," Diaz said. "We play Vanderbilt, then we go on the road for three matches. We have to hold our heads high and not look in the rearview mirror. We have to reset and play the tennis we've been playing all year, and I believe we can do that."

The Bulldogs are back in action Sunday against Vanderbilt at 1 p.m. in the regular season home finale. The Bulldogs' four seniors will be honored prior to the match.

#9 Kentucky 4, #3 Georgia 3
Singles competition
1. #7 Eric Quigley (UK) def. #8 Wil Spencer (UGA) 7-5, 3-6, 6-4
2. #18 Alex Musialek (UK) def. #24 Sadio Doumbia (UGA) 1-6, 6-0, 6-2
3. #32 KU Singh (UGA) def. #22 Anthony Rossi (UK) 6-4, 7-5
4. #91 Tom Jomby (UK) def. #33 Ignacio Taboada (UGA) 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-1)
5. #62 Hernus Pieters (UGA) def. Alejandro Gomez (UK) 6-4, 6-1
6. Nathan Pasha (UGA) def. #117 Grant Roberts (UK) 7-6 (10-8), 6-1

Doubles competition
1. #17 Eric Quigley/Panav Jha (UK) def. #34 Hernus Pieters/Ignacio Taboada (UGA) 8-2
2. Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) def. #59 Sadio Doumbia/Nathan Pasha (UGA) 8-4
3. Wil Spencer/KU Singh (UGA) vs. Tom Jomby/Alejandro Gomez (UK) 7-6, unfinished

Match Notes:
Kentucky 19-4 (7-0); National ranking #9
Georgia 16-2 (6-1); National ranking #3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (5,6,2,3,1,4)
Official: Clark Weaver  T-5:25  A-973 

 (UK), 7-6(8), 6-1

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