No. 10 Kentucky Close Regular Season at No. 41 LSU, No. 35 Mississippi State
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Wildcats will take on their last two matches before postseason play, traveling to LSU to face the Tigers on Friday at 6 p.m. ET at the LSU Tennis Complex before capping off a successful regular season slate against Mississippi State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Rula Tennis Pavilion.
Last time out
UK rose to the occasion this past weekend, taking down two top-10 opponents at home to improve to 17-6 overall with an 8-2 SEC mark. The Wildcats seek to continue their winning ways and lock up a double-bye for the SEC Tournament next week, by being seeded as a top-four team.
The first match of the weekend saw Kentucky take down No. 5 Tennessee in dramatic fashion. With a 4-3 victory in favor of the Wildcats, sophomore Joshua Lapadat picked up his third career match-clinching win, taking down Volunteers’ Angel Diaz 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5).
On Sunday’s senior day celebration, the No. 10 Georgia Bulldogs came to town, falling to the Wildcats by a 5-2 result. Junior Liam Draxl picked up a big victory after taking down No. 11 Hamish Stewart 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, clinching the match for the blue and white.
Kentucky also managed to earn the doubles point against three ranked UGA tandems, with Draxl and JJ Mercer first defeating No. 90 Blake Croyder and Erik Grevelius, 6-2. Gabriel Diallo and Lapadat then clinched the point, winning against No. 14 Trent Bryde and Philip Henning, 6-4.
#UKRising in the rankings
After two big wins last week, the Kentucky Wildcats now stand as the No. 10 team in the country, moving up two spots.
In singles, Diallo rose to No. 13 in the rankings after his dominant 6-0, 6-1 win against No. 5 Johannus Monday. Diallo has been the highest ranked UK athlete in singles for the entire season.
Just behind Diallo is No. 21 Draxl. The reigning Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year now has all his 11 wins at the one spot.
The other two ranked singles players are No. 69 Hurrion and No. 117 Ladapat. Captain Hurrion re-appears in the rankings after taking down two top-60 opponents last week.
In doubles, Diallo and Lapadat made their appearance in the rankings, coming in at No. 87 after picking up their first win against the No. 14 tandem in Bryde and Henning. No. 48 Draxl and Hurrion once again moved up but did not play together last week.
Scouting the Tigers
Standing at 13-9 overall (3-7 SEC), the Louisiana State University Tigers are ranked No. 41 in the country. LSU is currently on a three-match losing skid, most recently having lost to No. 24 Texas A&M 7-0 in its lone match last week. The Tigers are 9-3 at home on the season.
No. 40 Ronnie Hohmann in singles is the lone athlete on the LSU men’s tennis team ranked, with no Tigers featured in the doubles rankings. At 11-8 overall, Hohmann has picked up seven of his eight dual match wins at the one spot. He is 3-6 against ranked opponents.
Scouting the Bulldogs
The No. 35 Mississippi State Bulldogs are 13-10 on the year, also with a 3-7 SEC record. The team is 11-5 at home in the Rula Tennis Pavilion.
MSU’s three wins came against LSU and Auburn, both by a 4-3 result, and Alabama by a 5-0 score. The Bulldogs’ lone match last week came against No. 54 Arkansas where they won 4-3. Kentucky previously played against Mississippi State on Jan. 30, winning 4-2 to earn a spot at the ITA National Indoor Championship.
Florian Broska is the highest of the two Bulldogs ranked in singles as the No. 27 player in the country with a 20-11 record. No. 74 Nemanja Malesevic is the other Mississippi State athlete ranked in singles, standing at 16-5 at spot two.
Broska and Gregor Ramskogler comprise the only tandem ranked in doubles at No. 46. The pair is 10-8 on court one this year and has won their last two matches.
After the road matches this weekend, Kentucky will begin postseason play by heading to Athens, Georgia, for the SEC Tournament. It will start Wednesday, April 20, and conclude with the championship on Sunday, April 24.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) – (859) 257-8309