[Moderated by Matt Jones]
For the fourth consecutive season, the Kentucky Wildcats will play host to 1st and 2nd round matches of the NCAA Tournament this Friday and Saturday. UK received the 6th seed overall, which directly correlates with the ranking of 6th they have in the national polls. They are 26-5 overall, and will be the first seed in the Lexington Regional. This is a honor and a testament to the fabulous tennis facilities the Wildcats have.
If you didn’t have enough reason to watch this team play some magnificent tennis anyway, trust me, you will this weekend. The other teams the Wildcats are welcoming to Hilary J Boone Tennis Center are…familiar foes of the UK athletic program to say the least. Friday, the 1st seeded Wildcats take on the 4th seeded Highlanders from Radford. Radford won the Big South Tournament to get to the NCAA’s and is ranked 75th nationally. The winner of that match plays the winner of the 2 versus 3 match on Saturday which features the Louisville Cardinals battling against the Indiana Hoosiers. Indiana is the 2 seed while Louisville is the 3 seed. The Wildcats already crushed the Hoosiers in a match earlier this year, but have not faced the Cardinals.
Obviously, the bracket makers knew what they were doing putting these 3 teams in the same regional. Smart guys, eh? Kentucky will be huge favorites in every match this weekend, and it will be the last time to see senior’s Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek play at home. Quigley recently set the school record for single season victories and hasn’t lost in a very long time. He also won Mr. Wildcat at the CATSPY’s for basically being perfect.
In addition to the team NCAA tennis tournament, there is also a singles tournament and doubles tournament. This helps out the really good players who might be on a horrible team and not get to compete in the team tournament. There will be 3 players representing Kentucky in the NCAA singles tournament. Eric Quigley is seeded 3rd in the event, and is one of the favorites to win the whole thing. Alex Musialek is seeded in the 9-16 group, and fellow Frenchman Anthony Rossi also received an at-large berth into the tournament after stepping on the scene as one of the nation’s top players as well.
In the doubles tournament, the team of Eric Quigley and Panav Jha are seeded 5-8, after emerging as a top team in the SEC. They have been ranked nationally all season but just recently reached the top 20. The singles and doubles tournaments are after the conclusion of the team tournament, so all of these players will have some high pressure situations coming up soon.
Make a solid effort to come out and watch this team player either Friday or Saturday. This team is spectacular to watch, and college tennis matches, especially ones of such magnitude and intense rivalry are really fun to watch. I’ll be there too, so there’s no excuse.
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