March 21, 2010
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The No. 56 Auburn men's tennis team concluded its two-week road swing at No. 9 Kentucky Sunday, falling to the Wildcats 4-0 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. The two teams began outdoors before being forced to suspend competition due to rain.
The Tigers are now 4-9 on the season and 1-4 in the SEC, while Kentucky improves to 13-6 overall and 3-2 in conference play.
"We needed to win the doubles point today and were in a position to win, but we dug ourselves a hole we couldn't get out of," head coach Eric Shore said. "With that in mind, the five conference matches we've played have been against four of the top five teams in the SEC. It is now time for us to show that we've improved through this tough schedule and hopefully, this upcoming weekend, we can get on a needed streak."
A pair of the nation's best doubles teams competed at the No. 1 doubles in Auburn's No. 8 Tim Puetz and Alex Stamchev and Kentucky's No. 15 Brad Cox and Eric Quigley. The Wildcat team came away with the 8-5 victory to start the afternoon.
The two squads saw a pair of tough match-ups in the other two doubles competitions. At No. 2, freshman Andreas Mies and junior Michel Monteiro took on Kentucky's Alberto Gonzalez and Alex Lambropoulos. Auburn found itself at match-point at 7-6 and 8-7, but couldn't convert at those points. The Wildcats tied the match at eight and ended up taking the tie-break to win 9-8 (2).
Also in a doubles battle were freshmen Tim Hewitt and Lucas Lopasso. The pair took on Alex Musialek and Anthony Rossi at No. 3 doubles, seeing the two teams tied at eight before play was called.
Kentucky began singles competition with a 1-0 lead and pushed it to 2-0 on a win at No. 4 singles. Rossi topped Lopasso in two sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Attesting to the highly-contested dual between Auburn and Kentucky was that the remaining five singles matches extended to three sets each. Freshman Oliver Strecker took on Graeme Dyce at No. 6 singles, falling 6-2 in the first set. Strecker earned the second set with a 6-3 win, but couldn't hold on as he went on to lose the third set 6-1.
Mies picked up a neck-and-neck 7-6 (1) set one win over Gonzalez to start out at No. 5 singles. Gonzalez, however, came back to take the final two sets (6-4, 6-2) to give Kentucky the 4-0 team victory.
Auburn's No. 23 Puetz battled Kentucky's No. 10 Quigley at No. 1 singles, seeing Puetz take the first set by a score of 6-4. Quigley earned the tie break in the second set to win 7-6 (6) and, before play was called, Puetz held the 2-1 lead in the third set.
Hewitt and No. 37 Musialek were tied at one set apiece at No. 2 singles (6-3, 3-6, 2-3), as were No. 93 Stamchev and Cox (6-7 (2), 6-1, 5-4) before the end of play.
Auburn returns to the City of Auburn/Auburn University Tennis Center Friday as the Tigers welcome South Florida for a 10:30 a.m. match. Auburn concludes the weekend with a 1 p.m. match with SEC rival Vanderbilt Sunday, March 28.
1. No. 23 Tim Puetz (Auburn) vs. No. Eric Quigley (Kentucky); 6-4, 6-7 (6), 2-1 DNF
2. Tim Hewitt (Auburn) vs. No. 37 Alex Musialek (Kentucky); 6-3, 3-6, 2-3 DNF
3. No. 93 Alex Stamchev (Auburn) vs. Brad Cox (Kentucky); 6-7 (2), 6-1, 5-4 DNF
4. Anthony Rossi (Kentucky) def. Lucas Lopasso (Auburn); 6-4, 6-4
5. Alberto Gonzalez (Kentucky) def. Andreas Mies (Auburn); 7-6 (1), 4-6, 2-6
6. Graeme Dyce (Kentucky) def. Oliver Strecker (Auburn); 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
1. No. 15 Cox/Quigley (Kentucky) def. No. 8 Puetz/Stamchev (Auburn); 8-5
2. Gonzalez/Lambropoulos (Kentuck) def. Mie/Monteiro (Auburn); 9-8 (2)
3. Hewitt/Lopasso (Auburn) vs. Musialek/Rossi (Kentucky); 8-8 DNF
Kentucky - 13-6, 3-2 SEC; National ranking #9
Auburn - 4-9, 1-4 SEC; National ranking #56
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,6,5)