Alafia Ayeni Named SEC Co-Player of the Week
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Alafia Ayeni, a graduate transfer from San Diego, Calif., was voted SEC Co-Player of the Week for his performances against No. 23 Louisville and [RV] Duke last week. The honor was voted on by league coaches and was announced Wednesday afternoon. James Story of South Carolina shared the week four laurel with Ayeni.
Ranked No. 66 in the latest ITA Singles Rankings, Ayeni was able go 2-0 in singles matches, with both wins coming against top-30 opposition. Ayeni did not drop a set in singles action all weekend.
Playing on the road in his first Battle of the Bluegrass, Ayeni was able to take down No. 26 Fabian Salle at No. 2 Singles. Down 5-2 in the first set, Ayeni rattled off five straight games to capture the opening frame 7-5. He was then able to grit out a 7-6 (5) win in the second frame to secure the point for the ‘Cats. His victory evened the dual score up at two and helped propel the Wildcats to a 4-3 victory over the Cardinals.
Later that weekend, Ayeni knocked off his first top-ten opponent of the season, defeating No. 6 Garret Johns of Duke. Ayeni was able to make the move back to No. 1 Singles with no issue at all, breaking in the final game of the first set to win 7-5 before cruising to a 6-3 win in the second. The ‘Cats knocked off the Blue Devils by a score of 4-3, marking their fourth straight win over an ACC foe.
No. 2 Kentucky returns to action this Friday, competing in the ITA Indoor National Championships. It was announced on Tuesday that the Wildcats had earned the No. 2 seed in the event. The ‘Cats drew No. 15 Florida for their opening round match, a contest that will commence at 1 p.m. (ET) and take place at the XS Tennis Village in Chicago, Ill.