Men’s tennis bounces back after first loss

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By Dan Collins

Kentucky (16-4, 4-0 SEC) dropped a 14 game winning streak Monday afternoon at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex, losing 4-3 to No. 39 Baylor.  The Cats came back that evening to defeat Murray St. 5-1.

For a few of the Kentucky players, the afternoon match against Baylor proved bittersweet.

Senior Alex Musialek became the 14th player in school history to win 100singles matches by defeating Baylor’s Roberto Maytin, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

Head Coach Dennis Emery, in his 30th season with the University of Kentucky, admitted that he felt his team played well despite its loss.

“(Sophomore) Grant Roberts really did a fantastic job,” Emery said.  “It’s the best I’ve seen Grant play.”

Roberts came back after losing the first set to defeat Baylor’s Julian Bley, 5-7, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Junior Anthony Rossi was also victorious in singles, decisively beating Marco Krickovic in the first two sets, 6-2, 6-2.

“Rossi has been the core of our team,” Emery said.

The Cats returned later Monday evening and pounced on Murray St. at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex, winning 5-1.  All five of Kentucky’s wins were two-set victories.

Coach Emery was pleased with his team’s performance over Murray St., and reflected on the loss earlier that day with optimism.

“They’re real competitive,” Emery said, “they’re a lot of fun to coach.”

Ranked No. 7 going in to Monday’s matches, the Cats are already setting their sights on No. 18 Auburn.

“Now we focus on the next match,” Rossi said.

Kentucky will host Auburn at 4 p.m. Friday, March 23 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex.