Quigley, UK defeat Lipscomb


UK’s Alex Musialek plays a singles match against Wake Forest at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. Photo by Scott Hannigan

By Ethan Levine

The UK men’s tennis team made quick work of non-conference foe Lipscomb on Tuesday at home in the Hillary J. Boone Tennis Complex. The Cats defeated the Bisons 5-1 by winning two of three doubles matches and five of six singles matches. Lipscomb has now lost seven straight matches.

Among the Cats players to win their matches yesterday was sophomore Eric Quigley, the top-ranked player on UK’s squad and a top-20 player nationally. Quigley and teammate Anthony Rossi won their No. 1 doubles match 8-4 to start the day. Quigley also won his No. 1 singles match 6-1, 6-2 later that afternoon against Lipscomb’s top player, Daniel Haugstefer.

“I was playing pretty well coming into today’s match,” Quigley said. “I played well last weekend against Arkansas and LSU. This kid today was pretty good, but I just stayed focused and got the win.”

Alex Lambropoulos, the lone senior on UK’s roster and the No. 2 ranked player on the team, also posted a victory yesterday over Lipscomb’s Chad Pierron in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

Juniors Alberto Gonzalez and Brad Cox and sophomore Matt Davis also posted singles victories, overcoming the sweltering heat that consumed Lexington. Davis and sophomore Chris Leeper also won their No. 3 doubles match en route to the Cats’ victory.

The win against Lipscomb was a big way for UK to end its non-conference schedule. This Saturday the Cats take on Southeastern Conference rival Vanderbilt as they attempt to close out their strongest regular season in recent years. UK is 22-7 and 7-3 in conference play. It is the first time the team has won 20 games in a season since 2004, and the 11th time in UK head coach Dennis Emery’s 28-year tenure. Of their 21 wins, 5 have come against top-16 teams, including a win last weekend against No. 13 Illinois.

Quigley, a native of Pewee Valley, Ky., is a big reason for the Cats’ success this season.

“I am pretty pleased overall with the way I have been playing,” Quigley said. “It’s a long season, there are always ups and downs, but I just keep getting better every day for the postseason.”

When asked how he felt about the team as a whole going into the SEC tournament next week, Quigley felt confident about UK’s chances.

“Everyone knows their roles,” Quigley said. “We have a great coaching staff, no one is slacking off; we are working hard. I feel like I just fill another spot on the team. We have pulled out some close matches this season as a team, and I really like our chances going into the postseason.”