No. 4 Kentucky Sees Win Streak Snapped at No. 8 Georgia
ATHENS, Ga. – A seven-match win streak came to a close as No. 4 Kentucky (19-3, 7-2 SEC) dropped a road contest to No. 8 Georgia (13-5, 7-0 SEC) on Friday evening, 5-2, at the Magill Tennis Complex.
The defeat is the first for Kentucky since March 2, and its first loss in a true road contest this season. Tiebreakers were the theme of the night as the two teams played a total of eight breakers for the match, with the Bulldogs claiming five of the deciders.
The 38th-ranked doubles team of Joshua Lapadat and JJ Mercer got Kentucky off to a positive start, securing a 6-3 victory on court two to boost their record to 11-3 on the spring. The Wildcats had chances to clinch the doubles point with match points on both courts one and three, but ultimately fell short in a couple of tiebreakers, giving Georgia the evening’s first point.
In singles, Kentucky grabbed two of the six opening sets, with tiebreak victories from Lapadat and Jaden Weekes. It was the Bulldogs, however, who ultimately bolstered their advantage, scoring wins in the first three singles matches to finish to clinch the team result. UGA’s Phillip Henning got the best of UK’s Alafia Ayeni in a matchup of two, top-30 players, while No. 99 Blake Croyder defeated the Wildcats’ Taha Baadi, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3. The match was sealed on the top court where No. 4 Ethan Quinn edged No. 22 Liam Draxl in two sets, each determined via the tiebreaker.
Lapadat put Kentucky on the board with his win at third singles, knocking off the Dawgs’ Trent Bryde, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5) to score his team leading 17th singles win of the spring. Weekes followed suit, capitalizing on his early lead to defeat No. 116 Teodor Giusca in three sets for what was the freshman’s second victory over a nationally-ranked opponent this season. In the final match left on court, Georgia’s Miguel Perez Pena outlasted Wildcat freshman, Charlelie Cosnet, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to finish off a 5-2 result for the home team.
The Cats will face another top-15 opponent on the road this Sunday when they meet No. 14 Tennessee for a 1 p.m. match in Knoxville. Fans can follow the action online with live stats and streaming.
Court 1: No. 9 Quinn/Bryde (UGA) def. No. 25 Ayeni/Baadi (UK) – 7-6 (6)
Court 2: No. 38 Lapadat/Mercer (UK) def. Henning/Giusca (UGA) – 6-3
Court 3: Croyder/Johnston (UGA) def. Draxl/Weekes (UK) – 7-6 (2)
Order of finish: 2, 1, 3
Court 1: No. 4 Ethan Quinn (UGA) def. No. 22 Liam Draxl (UK): 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2)
Court 2: No. 19 Philip Henning (UGA) def. No. 27 Alafia Ayeni (UK): 6-4, 6-3
Court 3: No. 44 Joshua Lapadat (UK) def. Trent Bryde (UGA): 7-6 (5), 7-6 (5)
Court 4: No. 99 Blake Croyder (UGA) def. Taha Baadi (UK): 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
Court 5: Jaden Weekes (UK) def. No. 116 Teodor Giusca (UGA): 7-6 (1), 6-7 (3), 6-4
Court 6: Miguel Perez Pena (UGA) def. Charlelie Cosnet (UK): 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
Order of finish: 2, 4, 1, 3, 5, 6
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