Men’s tennis limping into SEC tourney

By Tyler Spanyer | @KernelSpanyer

After dropping their third straight match, the No. 11 UK men’s tennis team will need to win four matches in order to win a SEC Tournament title.

UK started the season strong by winning 14 of its first 16 matches but has slumped lately, dropping four of five to end the year. UK will be the No. 8 seed in the SEC Tournament and will face the No. 9 seed and ninth-ranked Mississippi State in their first match. UK beat MSU on March 17, 4-2 in Starkville, Miss.

If UK gets past the Bulldogs of Mississippi State, the Cats will face the No. 1 seeded and No. 2 in the nation Georgia Bulldogs in their third match of the year. The teams have split their matches thus far and this time would be a rematch of last year’s SEC Tournament Championship match.

Senior Anthony Rossi and junior Tom Jomby have been the bright spot for the Cats during this losing streak. Rossi comes in at No. 17 in this week’s ITA rankings while Jomby comes in at No. 21. Jomby is 18-5 on the year including 8-3 against ranked opponents. Rossi is 20-5 on the year and 8-2 against ranked opponents.

Both will need to play well for the Cats to have a chance at an SEC title.

The doubles duo of freshman Kevin Lai and Jomby are ranked No. 8 in the country and pivotal to the success of this team.

The SEC Tournament is being held on the campus of Ole Miss and began Wednesday afternoon with the play-in match. The championship will be Sunday afternoon.