Cats stay perfect on the season, shutout VT 7-0.


Travis Fannon

Kentucky Wildcats freshman Jaden Weekes waits to return a serve during the Kentucky vs. Liberty mens tennis match on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, at the Boone Tennis Center in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 4-0. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff

Aaron Benjamin, Reporter

No. 5 UK men’s tennis took home the win against Virginia Tech on Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats won the match 7-0 in Blacksburg, Virginia at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center.

The match started with doubles. First up, the pairing of freshman Jaden Weekes and senior Alexandre LeBlanc faced off against Hokies Alvaro Saez-Royuela Ariza and his teammate Scott Sculley. The Cats duo won 6-2 and took themselves one step closer to securing the first point of the day.

In the second match, junior Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer in blue and white snuck past the Virginia Tech combination of Alberto Orso and Matt Harper by a score of 6-4. This would give Kentucky a 1-0 lead.

VT’s Chrysostom and Fishback would take down UK’s Ayeni and Draxl by a score of 6-1 but this would not change the outcome of doubles.

Heading to singles, Kentucky would see 6-foot senior Taha Baadi step out onto the court first. His opponent would be Manuel Goncalves. Baadi would take control of the first game and win 6-2. Goncalves would present more of a challenge in the second game but still fall 6-3. 2-0 Wildcats.

Kentucky Wildcats senior Liam Draxl serves the ball during the Kentucky vs. Liberty mens tennis match on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, at the Boone Tennis Center in Lexington, Kentucky. UK won 4-0. Photo by Travis Fannon | Staff (Travis Fannon)

Next up, on court four, Weekes would play Hugo Maia. The UK freshman stepped up in the first game winning 6-1. He would maintain his momentum from the first game and take the second game 6-3.

The victory would bring it to 3-0 Kentucky.

Lapadat would face Ariza in the next match. The 6-foot-1 Wildcat would pull out  a close first game 7-5. He would settle in the second game, dominating 6-1. 4-0 for Kentucky.

It was decided after this that the rest of the matches would be played out.

Fifth-year Alafia Ayeni took on Ryan Fishback. Ayeni won in a close one at 6-4 in the first game and then edged out Fishback for a second time winning the second game 7(7) – 6(4). 5-0 Kentucky.

On court six, Mercer would continue the Cats’ roll with a 7(7) – 6(1) win in the first game and a 6-3 win in the second game to give the Wildcats their sixth point of the day.

To finish the match out, Charlelie Cosnet would get the go for Kentucky. On the other side of the court would be Michael Shepheard for Virginia Tech.

Cosnet took the first game 6-3 with the two reversing roles for the second game. The third and tie breaking match would see the Cat Cosnet win a tight third set 7(7) – 6(5).

The win would take Kentucky to 8-0 on the season.

Kentucky will look to take the momentum gained today and translate that into success on Friday Feb. 10 when they take on in-state rival Louisville. The match is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center in Louisville, Kentucky.