Feb. 12, 2013
#7 Kentucky 4, #29 ND 3
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
For the second consecutive year, the No. 29 University of Notre Dame men's tennis team went toe-to-toe with one of the nation's best in No. 7 Kentucky, falling to the Wildcats, 4-3, Tuesday at the Boone Tennis Complex.
"We certainly had our chances to win the match but we couldn't quite close the door," said head coach Bobby Bayliss. "We played well in doubles - served and received well and played well at the nets - and then played good matches at three and four singles. Unfortunately we couldn't get the one more match we needed. We are close. We just have to figure out a way to finish off these top teams. We'll have another shot at home Saturday against a really talented Michigan team."
The Irish (5-4) have now suffered three tough 4-3 losses to teams in the ITA top 40 so far this season, with the fourth loss coming at the hands of then-No. 5 Duke, 4-0, which was stopped with three matches still up for grabs.
Notre Dame returns to the Eck Tennis Pavilion for a 1 p.m. Saturday showdown with rival and No. 21 Michigan.
For the second straight season, the Irish claimed the doubles point from the highly ranked Wildcats, winning close matches at two and three.
First off the court was the duo of Ryan Bandy and Matt Dooley, who took down Beck Pennington and Anthony Rossi, 8-5, at three.
The Wildcats rallied back as the No. 35 duo of Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai snuck past the No. 51 team of Greg Andrews and Spencer Talmadge, 8-6, at one.
With all eyes turning to two, the Irish team of Billy Pecor and Alex Lawson closed out Ryuji Hirooka and Alejandro Gomez, 8-6, to give Notre Dame the 1-0 advantage.
The Wildcats got on the board quickly in singles as they jumped out to a 2-1 lead with straight-set wins at one and two. No. 15 Jomby beat No. T-110 Blas Moros at two, 6-3, 6-3, and No. 94 Anthony Rossi topped No. 80 Andrews at one, 7-5, 6-3.
Notre Dame knotted the score at two with a straight-sets victory at three as Quentin Monaghan took down Gomez, 6-4, 7-6 (1).
Action next turned to courts four, five and six. Charles Minc took down No. 120 Wyatt McCoy in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, at five to put the Wildcats on the brink of victory.
No. 88 Pecor wouldn't let the Irish go down without a fight, however, as the junior claimed a tough three-set match at four over No. 97 Juan Pablo Murra, 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (2), to tie the score at three.
Kentucky wouldn't let the Irish finish off the upset as Grant Roberts took down Bandy, 6-3, 6-0, at six to give the Wildcats the narrow 4-3 win.
No. 1: #94 Anthony Rossi (UK) d. #80 Greg Andrews (ND), 7-5, 6-3
No. 2: #15 Tom Jomby (UK) d. #T-110 Blas Moros (ND), 6-3, 6-2
No. 3: Quentin Monaghan (ND) d. Alejandro Gomez (UK), 6-4, 7-6 (1)
No. 4: #88 Billy Pecor (ND) d. #97 Juan Pablo Murra (UK), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (2)
No. 5: Charles Minc (UK) d. #120 Wyatt McCoy (ND), 6-1, 6-3
No. 6: Grant Roberts (UK) d. Ryan Bandy (ND), 6-3, 6-0
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3, 5, 4, 6
No. 1: #35 Tom Jomby / Kevin Lai (UK) d. #51 Greg Andrews / Spencer Talmadge (ND), 8-6
No. 2: Billy Pecor / Alex Lawson (ND) d. Ryuji Hirooka / Alejandro Gomez (UK), 8-6
No. 3: Matt Dooley / Ryan Bandy (ND) d. Beck Pennington / Anthony Rossi (UK), 8-5
Order of Finish: 3, 1, 2