CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The sixth-seed Kentucky Wildcats took the momentum of winning a close point in doubles to move past the 11th-seeded Texas A&M Aggies, 4-0, in the opening round of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships held at the Boar's Head Sports Club in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday.
"This was a very competitive match against a quality team," Aggie head coach Steve Denton said. "Doubles was very close, we lost an early break and they were able to win the doubles point. We were very competitive at singles one, two and three and I thought Jackson (Withrow) at No. 6 singles was a bright spot and he found his game today. Kentucky just played a little bit better than we did and there is a reason they are ranked No. 6 in the country."
"Tomorrow's match (against Texas) will be another battle and an anticipated close match and it's important to see how our team responds," Denton explained. "We've had a couple of setbacks. In a tournament like this is where we find out which team comes out with the most energy and the most determination to pick up a win."
The first match complete in doubles saw No. 48 Eric Quigley and Panav Jha of UK defeat No. 55 Jackson Withrow and Junior Ore of A&M, 8-6, in No. 1 doubles. The Wildcats clinched the doubles point when the duo of Tom Jomby and Anthony Rossi edged the No. 36 Aggie duo of Colin Hoover and John Lewis, 9-7, at No. 2 doubles. The No. 3 doubles, which included the A&M tandem of Jordan Szabo and Alexis Klegou against UK's Alex Musialek and Alejandro Gomez, did not finish with the score all tied at eight.
The first singles match in the books was a straight sets victory by Kentucky's Gomez, ranked No. 87 in the country, against Lewis, 6-0, 6-2. At No. 4 singles, UK's Tom Jomby took down A&M's freshman Jeremy Efferding, 6-4, 6-3. The Wildcats would clinch the match at No. 3 singles as Kentucky's Anthony Rossi, ranked No. 13 in the country, defeated A&M's Junior Ore, 6-4, 6-3.
The rest of the matches did not finish. A&M's Alexis Klegou, ranked No. 15 in the country, was going to a third set with Kentucky's No. 1 player, Eric Quigley who is ranked No. 6. At the No. 6 line, Aggie Jackson Withrow had won the first set against Jha Panav, the No. 119-ranked player in the land, 6-4.
The Aggies will face Texas on Saturday, Feb. 18 with first serve at 8 a.m. central (9 a.m. eastern). The Longhorns lost to No. 3-seed Ohio State, 4-0.
No. 6 KENTUCKY 4, No. 11 TEXAS A&M 0
#1-(48) Quigley/Jha, UK def. (55) Withrow/Ore, A&M-8-6
#2-Jomby/Rossi, UK def. (36) Lewis/Hoover, A&M-9-7
#3-Musialek/Gomez, UK vs. Szabo/Klegou, A&M-8-8 dnf
#1- (6) Eric Quigley, UK vs. (15) Alexis Klegou, A&M-5-7, 6-1 dnf
#2- (20) Alex Musialek, UK vs. Colin Hoover, A&M-7-6, 3-2 dnf
#3- (13) Anthony Rossi, UK vs. Junior Ore, A&M-6-4, 6-3
#4-(79) Tom Jomby, UK def. Jeremy Efferding, A&M-6-4, 6-3
#5-(87) Alejandro Gomez, UK def. John Lewis, A&M-6-0, 6-2
#6-(119) Panav Jha, UK vs. Jackson Withrow, A&M-4-6, 4-3 dnf
Order of Finish:
Singles 5, 4, 3