No. 12 Kentucky Prevails Against No. 39 Ole Miss in Hard-Fought Win
OXFORD, Ms. – The No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats managed to take down the No. 39 Ole Miss Rebels by a 4-3 result Sunday afternoon at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center in Oxford, Mississippi, staying unbeaten in road Southeastern Conference matches.
With the win, UK improves to 15-4 overall and 6-1 in SEC contests, while the Rebels now stand at 11-9 on the season with a 1-6 mark in SEC play.
Ole Miss started the match strong by earning the point in doubles competition to take an early lead. J. Hallquist Lithen and Nikola Slavic opened the day by taking down Liam Draxl and Alexandre Leblanc, 6-1. The Rebels took the doubles point with a win from No. 12 Finn Reynolds and Lukas Engelhardt, who beat Millen Hurrion and Francois Musitelli to go 1-1 in their matches over the weekend.
With the teams now in singles competition and the Wildcats down 1-0, No. 9 Gabriel Diallo played a dominant match against Lithen to tie the teams. The junior took down his Ole Miss opponent 6-2, 6-1, improving to 24-3 on the year with a 9-0 record in the spring.
From there, the blue and white took over. No. 95 Lapadat followed Diallo with an impressive performance of his own, winning in straight sets over Simon Junk, 6-2, 6-2, for UK’s first lead of the day. Lapadat’s victory put him at 13-1, the most singles wins by any athlete in the spring.
No. 94 Draxl bounced back following a Friday loss in a big way, taking down No. 36 Nikola Slavic for his highest-ranked singles win of the year, 6-1, 6-4. No. 114 Hurrion played great as well, pulling out a 6-3, 7-5 victory against No. 110 Reynolds for his fourth ranked win of the season. Captain Hurrion’s victory clinched the match for UK, 4-1, for his fourth match-clinching win of the season.
No. 61 Musitelli on court four and Leblanc on six were still going when Kentucky won the match but were unable to pull out wins. Musitelli lost his first match since February 20, falling to Engelhardt 4-6, 7-5, 10-2. Leblanc drops to 0-2 on the year after losing to Jan Soren Hain by a 7-5, 3-6, 10-6 final.
The Wildcats will play next on Thursday in their final non-conference match against No. 11 Virginia. The Cavaliers will travel to Lexington to play at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex at 5 p.m. ET. The match, which was previously scheduled for February 4, was postponed due to severe winter weather. Kentucky will then go to Columbia, South Carolina, to play the University of South Carolina on April 3 at noon.
#12 Kentucky 4, #39 Ole Miss 3
1. #94 Liam Draxl (UK) def. #36 Nikola Slavic (OM) 6-1, 6-4
2. #114 Millen Hurrion (UK) def. #110 Finn Reynolds (OM) 6-3, 7-5
3. #9 Gabriel Diallo (UK) def. J. Hallquist Lithen (OM) 6-2, 6-1
4. Lukas Engelhardt (OM) def. #61 Francois Musitelli (UK) 4-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-2)
5. #95 Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. Simon Junk (OM) 6-2, 6-2
6. Jan Soren Hain (OM) def. Alexandre LeBlanc (UK) 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (10-6)
Order of finish: 3, 5, 1, 2*, 4, 6
1. #12 Finn Reynolds/Lukas Engelhardt (OM) def. Francois Musitelli/Millen Hurrion (UK) 6-4
2. Jan Soren Hain/Simon Junk (OM) vs. JJ Mercer/Joshua Lapadat (UK) 6-5, unfinished
3. J. Hallquist Lithen/Nikola Slavic (OM) def. Gabriel Diallo/Liam Draxl (UK) 6-1
Order of finish: 3, 1*
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.
For more information contact:
Ryan Cullinane (email@example.com) – (859) 257-8309