Jan. 5, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team under the direction of second-year head coach Cedric Kauffmann will begin the season ranked No. 9 in the nation, it was announced this week by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association in their initial preseason poll release.
In addition to the team beginning the season ranked No. 9, Kentucky was also represented in the singles rankings, with the highest-ranked player for Kentucky being Bowling Green, Ky., native, Beck Pennington, who checks in at No. 55 in the initial rankings. After finishing out the season strong in 2013, including clinching a match in the Southeastern Conference Tournament, Pennington earned his first-career ranking at the ITA level.
Pennington is accompanied by senior Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai in the top 100, joining a small list of schools with three players in the top 100 to start the season. After being one of the best No. 2 players in the nation a year ago, Jomby checks in at No. 68 in the release, with his doubles partner, Kevin Lai, ranked No. 97 in the nation. Lai played five and six singles a year ago, playing a big part in Kentucky’s win over No. 5 Georgia at the ITA National Indoor Consolation Semifinals in Seattle in 2013.
Kentucky is one of three SEC teams in the top 10 of the nation, and the SEC also makes up an astounding nine of the top 18 teams in the country to start the season. Georgia leads the way for the conference at No. 3, followed by Tennessee, at No. 6.
The 2014 spring season gets underway on Jan. 17 with a doubleheader, as the No. 9 Wildcats will host Dayton at 1:00 p.m. ET, followed by a match at 5:00 p.m. ET against Eastern Kentucky. Both matches will be held at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center on the campus of the University of Kentucky.
For continuing coverage of UK men’s tennis, log on to UKathletics.com.