Tennis squads ready for weekend action



By Tyler Spanyer | @KernelSpanyer

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Women’s tennis host Missouri, Texas A&M

After splitting two matches on the opening weekend of SEC play, the UK women’s tennis team returns home to host two more SEC opponents.

UK (10-3, 1-1 SEC) has won seven of its past eight, with the only loss coming at Arkansas last weekend.

On Friday, UK hosts Missouri (6-3, 0-2 SEC). The Tigers have a young roster that includes only one senior. Missouri upset Tulane earlier this year, and Tulane beat the Cats for one of their three losses on the year.

The Tigers are led by junior Cierra Gaytan-Leach, who is 10-1 in singles play this year. Gaytan-Leach is 3-1 against nationally ranked players. The Tigers do not have any ITA national ranked players on their roster.

On Sunday, No. 4 Texas A&M heads to Lexington for a matchup of SEC heavyweights. A&M is boasting its highest ranking in school history and has three players in the ITA top-125.

Senior Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar leads the Aggies with a No. 6 national ranking. Fellow senior Nazari Urbina is the reigning SEC Player of the Week, coming in at No. 67, while freshman Stefania Hristov and junior Cristina Stancu are the No. 11 doubles pairing in the country.

The Aggies (8-1 2-0 SEC) have a resume of wins against top opponents. Last weekend the Aggies defeated two-time defending national champions Florida. A&M’s lone loss on the year came against No. 1 North Carolina earlier this season.

The Cats will face off with Missouri on Friday, with first serve slated for 4 p.m. On Sunday, Texas A&M and the Cats will start play at noon. Both matches will be played at the Boone Tennis Complex.

Men’s tennis travel to Texas

The UK men’s tennis team heads to Texas this weekend for showdowns with Baylor and No. 14 Texas A&M.

No. 5 UK moved up one spot in the latest ITA polls, matching the program’s highest ranking since 2004. Junior Tom Jomby is ranked No. 18 in singles with senior Anthony Rossi close behind at No. 21. Jomby and his doubles partner freshman Kevin Lai are ranked No. 19 in the country in doubles.

Baylor (9-1) has had a strong start to the season, with its only loss coming against No. 15 Tulsa. The Bears are 2-1 against ranked opponents this season.

On Sunday the Cats will head to College Station, Texas, for a matchup with the Aggies of Texas A&M. This will be the first ever SEC meeting between UK and A&M, and their fourth meeting all-time. The last meeting was in 2012 as the two faced off for the first time in almost 30 years at the ITA National Indoor Championships.

The Aggies (9-5, 1-1 SEC) have seen all five of their losses come against top-40 opponents. A&M has won four matches against ranked opponents, including a win over No. 8 Ohio State.

Texas A&M’s tandem of freshman Shane Vinsant and junior Junior Ore are the No. 17 ranked doubles pairing in the country.

The Cats will face off with the Bears on Friday before heading to face the Aggies on Sunday.