Men's Tennis Travels to Memphis for ITA Regional's

Oct. 18, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - After a week of a preparation and practice, the University of Kentucky men's tennis team will travel to Memphis, Tenn., this weekend for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's annual Ohio Valley Regional Indoor Championships, as players will be looking to qualify for the National Indoor finals in Flushing Meadow, N.Y., in November. The event will be held at the Raquet Club of Memphis, which serves as an indoor hard court playing surface. 

"I am looking forward to this weekend to see how much better and tougher we have become" UK head coach Cedric Kauffmann said. "The boys have worked hard the last couple of weeks. This will be an important and tough test for us to set the tone for the spring. I expect our Wildcats to be ready to play."

Senior captain Anthony Rossi earned the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, with three other UK players earning seeds to embark on the weekend. All other seeded players for the Wildcats are juniors, as Tom Jomby earned the No. 4 seed, Panav Jha the No. 5 seed, and Grant Roberts will enter the weekend with the No. 17 seed. All seeded players earned a bye in the opening round, and will see their first action Saturday afternoon.

On Friday afternoon, four UK players will be in action including freshman Beck Pennington, junior Ryuji Hirooka, freshman Juan Pablo Murra and freshman Kevin Lai. The first wave of matches will begin at 5:00 p.m. ET as Pennington and Hirooka will kick things off for UK.

Hirooka will play David Salazar of Lipscomb, as the winner of the match will advance on to play the No. 10 seed Connor Glennon of Memphis. Pennington will also play at 5:00 p.m. as the Bowling Green, Ky., native is scheduled to play ETSU's Jorge Varon. The winner of the Varon/Pennington match will move on to play the No. 9 overall seed in the draw, Ben Davis of Middle Tennessee State.

Mexico native Murra will have a first serve of 5:30 p.m. ET in Memphis, as he will face off against Mesa Mei of Xavier. Murra is in the same region of the draw as Hirooka, and Jomby. Should Murra advance, he will play the No. 8 seed, Isade Juneau of Indiana.

Lai will round out the opening day's action for the Wildcats, as the freshman from Taiwan is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. opening ball against Henrique Norbiato of Belmont. The opening-round match winner will advance to the round of 64 to play J. Collins of Tennessee.

In the main doubles draw, UK received two seeded teams who will both receive first-round byes in the main draw. Roberts and Rossi are the No. 9 seed and will play Friday at 11:00 a.m. ET against the winner of an opening-round match, while the No. 4 duo of Jomby and Lai will play Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

Murra and Jha will play Alex Gornet and Albert Wagner of Louisville Friday at 9:30 a.m. ET in the round of 64, as well as Hirooka and Pennington taking on Henrik Claesson and Fernando Mussolini of Belmont at 10:45 a.m. ET.

Live stats of the event, results and schedules can be found at, the online home of the Memphis Tigers, who are serving as hosts of the event.

UK Schedule of Play - (Friday, October 19, 2012)

Singles First Round:

5:00 p.m. ET - Beck Pennington (UK) vs. Jorge Varon (ETSU)

5:00 p.m. ET - Ryuji Hirooka (UK) vs. David Salazar (Lipscomb)

5:30 p.m. ET - Juan Pablo Murra (UK) vs. Mesa Mei (Xavier)

6:30 p.m. ET - Kevin Lai (UK) vs. Henrique Norbaito (Belmont)

Seeded players who receive first-round byes: Rossi (1), Jomby (4), Jha (5) and Roberts (17).

Doubles First Round:

9:30 a.m. ET - Jha/Murra (UK) vs. Gornet/Wagner (Louisville)

10:45 a.m. ET - Hirooka/Pennington (UK) vs. Claesson/Mussolini (Belmont)

Seeded teams who receive first-round byes: Jomby/Lai (4), Rossi/Roberts (9),

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