Musitelli Picks Up Ranked Win; Wildcats Fall to Baylor in Elite Eight
SEATTLE – The 10th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (9-2) put up a tough fight against No. 3 Baylor (13-0), but came up just short, losing by a 4-3 score in the Elite Eight of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Indoor Team Championship at the Seattle Tennis Center on Saturday night.
Despite the team loss, Francois Musitelli picked up his second ranked win of his Wildcat career over No. 123 Sven Lah. Winning swiftly with a 6-2, 6-1 score, the graduate student improved to 5-1 on the season and 2-1 against ranked opponents.
In doubles competition, JJ Mercer and Joshua Lapadat dropped just their third match of the season together to Juampi Mazzuchi and Matias Soto, 6-3. The Bears went on to clinch the point by defeating Musitelli and Yasha Zemel, 6-4, as the UK tandem falls to 4-2 on the year.
However, the Wildcats quickly responded by winning matches of its own and putting points on the board. Musitelli earned the first point on the evening on court three with No. 5 Gabriel Diallo following closely behind on court four, defeating Soto 6-1, 6-4 to give UK the lead, 2-1.
After captain Millen Hurrion and redshirt sophomore JJ Mercer both dropped matches, the lead was back in favor of Baylor, 3-2.
No. 37 Joshua Lapadat managed to tie the match with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) victory over Marko Miladinovic on court four. The London, Ontario native has managed to pick up two wins on the weekend, both of which have come in straight sets.
With just court six left to play, Zemel battled but could not overcome Baylors’ Mazzuchi. The sophomore fell 6-3, 3-6, 2-6 as the Bears clinched the match and advanced to the semifinal round.
The loss puts UK into the consolation draw for its final match on Sunday, facing Southeastern Conference foe No. 13 South Carolina at 9:30 p.m. ET. The Wildcats will have played three conference opponents before SEC play starts against Alabama on March 4 at 5 p.m. at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Center.
#3 Baylor 4, #3 Kentucky 3
1. Adrian Boitan (BU) def. Millen Hurrion (UK) 6-4, 6-3
2. #5 Gabriel Diallo (UK) def. Matias Soto (BU) 6-1, 6-4
3. Francois Musitelli (UK) def. #123 Sven Lah (BU) 6-2, 6-1
4. #37 Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. Marko Miladinovic (BU) 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
5. Finn Bass (BU) def. JJ Mercer (UK) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
6. Juampi Mazzuchi (BU) def. Yasha Zemel (UK) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2
Order of finish: 3, 2, 1, 5, 4, 6*
1. #12 Finn Bass/Sven Lah (BU) vs. Gabriel Diallo/Millen Hurrion (UK) 5-4, unfinished
2. Juampi Mazzuchi/Matias Soto (BU) def. #22 Joshua Lapadat/JJ Mercer (UK) 6-3
3. Adrian Boitan/Tadeas Paroulek (BU) def. Francois Musitelli/Yasha Zemel (UK) 6-4
Order of finish: 2, 3*
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