Wildcats edge Ole Miss 4-3 for fifth straight win


Millen Hurrion returns a hit during the University of Kentucky vs. Louisiana State men’s tennis meet on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 4-0. Photo by Jack Weaver | Staff

Aaron Benjamin

Kentucky managed to edge out Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon for a 4-3 win in Oxford. Kentucky came into the match at No. 12 in the country, while Ole Miss came in at No. 39.  

The match started out with the doubles portion. The first match pitted UK’s Francois Musitelli and Millen Hurrion against the No. 12 ranked duo of Finn Reynolds and Lukas Engelhardt. The Rebel pair got off to a quick start and held off the charge of the Wildcats.  

They would win the set 6-4 and leave it up to Nikola Slavic and John Hallquist Lithén to close it out for the doubles point. The duo would dominate the Cats’ Liam Draxl and Gabriel Diallo 6-1, taking the doubles point.  

The match featuring Kentucky’s JJ Mercer and Joshua Lapadat vs. Jan HorenSain and his partner Simon Junk would go unfinished with a score of 6-5 in favor of the Rebels.  

Next, UK would look to get the match back under control in the singles matches. First Diallo of Kentucky would take on OM’s Lithen. Diallo won the first set 6-2 and didn’t look back, winning the second set in better fashion by a score of 6-1. This would tie up the match at 1-1.  


The next matchup would see Lapadat of the Wildcats play the Rebels’ Junk. Lapadat handled the first set, winning 6-2 and repeated the score in the second set, winning in matching fashion, giving the Cats the lead. 

Court one would feature UK’s Liam Draxl squaring off against Ole Miss’ Nikola Slavic. The first set would be a Draxl domination, as the reigning ITA National Player of the Year would win 6-1. In the second set, Draxl would finish the job as he would win by a closer margin of 6-4. This would set the match up at 3-1, with UK needing one more singles win to claim victory. 

Next, the fifth-year player Hurrion would match up against Reynolds of Ole Miss. The Gardner Webb transfer would defeat Reynolds for the first set, 6-3. The next set would go into a tiebreak, which saw Hurrion best Reynolds 7-5, giving the Wildcats the hard-fought win. 

The win improves Kentucky’s record to 15-4 and extends its winning streak to five games. Next up, UK will look for six in a row as it takes on the No. 11 ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday, March 31. The match will take place at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center in Lexington and is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. EST.