Men's Tennis

No. 10 Kentucky Starts Two-Game Road Trip at No. 1 Ohio State, Duke

by Ryan Cullinane

LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 10 Kentucky (7-0) men’s tennis team will hit the road this weekend to play matches against No. 1 Ohio State (7-0) and Duke (3-2). The Wildcats will play the Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday at 6 p.m. ET at the Ty Tucker Tennis Center before traveling to the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center in Durham, North Carolina, to face the Blue Devils on Sunday at noon.
 
UK is coming off a weekday match that saw the team sweep VCU by a 7-0 score. Following Monday’s win, the Wildcats moved up one spot in the latest Intercollegiate Tennis Association Top 25 Coaches Poll, jumping from No. 11 to 10. 
 
While starting the season at No. 6, Ohio State has vaulted into the spotlight as the nation’s top-ranked unit by sweeping four ranked teams through seven matches, including previous No. 1 Tennessee. 
 
The Buckeyes feature four ranked singles players, with three in the top 20, and the top two doubles pairs in the nation. OSU was one of three unseeded teams to make the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last year.
 
Duke opened the year with three straight wins and made the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Kickoff Championship, pushing No. 13 South Carolina to the edge, but fell 4-3. The team went on to lose its following match against Northwestern a week later by the same score. 
 
While not ranked, Duke did receive votes in this week’s latest ITA Top 25 Coaches Poll, released on Feb. 9. The Blue Devils have three ranked singles players, with its highest being No. 93 Faris Khan, and a ranked doubles pair in No. 45 Garrett Johns and Sean Sculley.
 
The Wildcats have now played the top team in the country in back-to-back seasons, having previously played Southern California last spring in Champaign, Illinois, falling 4-3. 
 
The Buckeyes were also ranked the No. 1 team in the country the last time they hosted the Wildcats. Kentucky will look earn its first win against Ohio State in its last six attempts, having lost in each of its meetings since the 2013-14 season. 
 
Captain Millen Hurrion will have the opportunity to build on what has been his best start in singles competition during his collegiate career. The fifth-year and Weymouth, England, native will likely see OSU’s No. 6 Matej Vocel for a chance to earn the highest-ranked win in his career.
 
After taking down 13 ranked opponents to be named the school’s first ITA National Player of the Year in 2021, junior Liam Draxl should have an opportunity to pick up his first ranked win the season. Draxl, who has played the one spot for UK in each match he appeared in, will likely face Buckeyes’ No. 16 Cannon Kingsley on Friday.
 
This weekend will be the first of two games this season that Kentucky will face foes from the Atlantic Coast Conference and Big Ten. After the Wildcats return from the ITA Indoor Championship on Feb. 18-21, the team will host Northwestern on Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. 
 
The next match versus an ACC rival will come against No. 7 Virginia at the Hilary J. Boone Center on March 31, also at 5 p.m. The Cavaliers were previously scheduled to travel to Lexington on Feb. 4, but a winter weather storm forced a postponement. 
 
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter and Facebook, @kentuckymenstennis on Instagram, and on the web at UKAthletics.com.
 

– GO CATS –
For more information contact:
Ryan Cullinane (rrcu222@uky.edu) – (859) 257-8309

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