No. 12 Kentucky men’s tennis sweep Dayton in doubleheader to open season


Liam Draxl pumps his fist 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

Hunter Shelton

No. 12 Kentucky men’s tennis began its 2022 campaign in style on Saturday, sweeping the Dayton Flyers in a doubleheader at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center in Lexington.  

The Flyers did not win a single point in either match on Saturday.  

Match one began with Kentucky quickly earning the doubles point, as Liam Draxl and Millen Hurrion bested Dayton’s Connor Bruce and Max DeCurtins 6-1, followed by the No. 34 team of Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer fighting past Joe and Matt DeMarco 6-4.  

Up 1-0, UK would waste no time in the first round of singles action.  

No. 122 Yasha Zemel defeated Will Harper 6-2, 6-1 on court four, doubling the Wildcats’ lead. No. 45 Francois Musitelli then beat Ronit Huryur 6-2, 6-0, putting UK just one point away from an early victory.  

Draxl would get the job done on court one, defeating Bruce handily 6-1, 6-3. No. 90 Lapadat would also win on court three 6-2, 6-4 against Matt DeMarco, giving Kentucky a 5-0 victory in match one.  

Draxl, the reigning Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year, while unranked, is poised to make another run for a singles title this season.  

Match two saw more of the same from the Cats, just with some different players.  

Hurrion and Ying-Ze Chen won the first doubles match of round two against the Flyers, beating Eric Perkowski and Steven Karl 6-1. Lapadat and Mercer then vanquished DeCurtins and Joe DeMarco 6-3 to earn UK its second doubles point of the day.  

Zemel would once again earn the first singles point of the match, taking care of Joe DeMarco 6-1, 6-1 to put UK up 2-0.  

Hurrion took down Karl 6-1, 6-2 in his lone singles match of the day, while No. 89 Mercer raced past Perkowski 6-1, 6-2 to give the Wildcats another sweep, this time just 4-0. 

Smooth sailing in the season-opening doubleheader saw Kentucky improve to 2-0 on the year with ease.  

Next up for Kentucky is a rivalry match against the Louisville Cardinals. The Cards will come to the Boone for an in-state tilt on Friday, Jan. 21. The match is set to begin at 4 p.m. E.T.