Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide comes up short against Kentucky

By Johnny Esfeller

The No. 37 Alabama Crimson Tide men’s tennis team fell to the No. 9 Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday. The Tide dropped the doubles point and was unable to fight back enough in singles play to take the match, losing 5-2.

The loss drops Alabama to 8-10 overall and 1-5 in conference play.

The Tide played a close match with Kentucky in doubles. The pair of Jarryd Botha and Trey Walston defeated Kentucky’s Anthony Rossi and Alex Musialek 8-2. Kentucky countered with an 8-5 victory when Alberto Gonzalez and Alex Lambropoulos defeated Ricky Doverspike and Michael Thompson.

A questionable call during a tiebreak gave Eric Quigley and Brad Cox a 9-8 win over Saketh Myneni and Michael Davis. The loss not only cost Alabama the doubles point but also hurt momentum before singles play.

“When we went into the locker room [after doubles], we made a pact to get back and get some momentum and get off to a good start in each set, and we kind of did the opposite,” head coach Billy Pate said. “Even though it is just one point, the doubles is really huge, and it impacted us today more than just about any other day.”

In singles play, Alabama got off to a rocky start, but regrouped enough to scrape together two points. Myneni, nationally ranked No. 47 in singles, was able to accomplish a daunting task by defeating Kentucky’s No.10 Cox in three sets.

“I did a pretty good job, given the conditions were not suitable for either player,” Myneni said. “The wind was blowing about 15 mph. It was difficult, but I kept myself composed and focused.”

The other point for the Tide was recorded when Ian Chadwell defeated Graeme Dyce in three sets.

“I had a rough first set, which wasn’t great,” he said, “and I came back and bounced back, which was nice because I haven’t bounced back well this season, and it was great to get a good win against a great player.”

In the other four singles matchups, Musialek defeated Doverspike, Cox defeated Botha, Rossi defeated Thompson and Gonzalez defeated Houssam Yassine.

Losing to Kentucky, another highly regarded conference team, may have taken a toll mentally on the men’s team, Pate said.

“We are definitely in need of a conference win at this point,” Pate said. “We started out by playing the top four teams in the conference already, in the first three weeks. It’s kind of rough, but it’s the way the schedule worked out.

“[The team] has taken a few hits, but without getting that momentum of some other wins in the conference, and if we can get that started now in the second half of the schedule, we could put ourselves in pretty good position still.”

The team has an opportunity to seize momentum this Friday at 3 p.m. at home in the UA Tennis Stadium when they face off against the No.41 LSU Tigers. Then on Sunday, they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in Tuscaloosa starting at noon.

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