Men's Tennis
No. 6 Kentucky Heads South to Face LSU, No. 15 Mississippi State

No. 6 Kentucky Heads South to Face LSU, No. 15 Mississippi State

by Ben Slack

LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the midst of a season-long five-match winning streak, No. 6 Kentucky (12-2, 3-0) will head south for a pair of matches this weekend, squaring off against No. 28 LSU on Friday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. ET before facing No. 15 Mississippi State on Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m. ET. Sunday’s matchup against the Bulldogs will be the fourth top-15 matchup for the Cats this season, with Kentucky holding a 2-1 mark in those matches.

Heading into the third weekend of conference play, the Wildcats are one of two remaining undefeated teams in Southeastern Conference play, sitting one half-game behind Tennessee in the conference table. The Wildcats’ strong start has been fueled by a pair of ranked entries at the No. 1 flight, with Taha Baadi checking in at No. 21 in the latest ITA Singles Rankings, and JJ Mercer and Josh Lapadat reaching a season high ranking of 13 in doubles. Additionally, freshman Eli Stephenson, who typically plays at No. 6 singles, remains undefeated on the season with an 11-0 record.

First on the weekend, Kentucky will head to Baton Rouge, La. to face LSU (11-4, 1-3 SEC) in a Friday contest at the LSU Tennis Complex. The Tigers, while not featuring any ranked singles players, boast a pair of ranked doubles teams, with Aleksi Lofman and Stefan Latinovic clocking in at No. 51 and Welsh Hotard and Geroge Stoupe holding down the No. 73 position. The Tigers posted impressive back-to-back road wins at No. 21 Memphis and No. 16 South Carolina, which rose LSU’s ranking to 19, a season-high. However, the Tigers have since lost their last three contests, all in league action. Last season, the Wildcats defeated LSU, 6-1, in Lexington and have won the last four matchups in the series.

The Cats will then trek some 300 miles north to Starkville, Miss. for a top-15 showdown with No. 15 Mississippi State (10-4, 2-1 SEC) at the Rula Tennis Pavilion. This is the second-straight year that the annual matchup between the Cats and the Bulldogs will be a top-15 showdown, as Kentucky picked up a 4-3 win over No. 12 Mississippi State in Lexington last season. The Bulldogs are led by Petar Jovanovic who holds a ranking of 27 in singles and is also ranked No. 35 in doubles, alongside partner Benito Sanchez Martinez. State also features No. 121 Carles Hernandez in the singles rankings. In SEC play, the Bulldogs have defeated Georgia and No. 19 LSU, while falling to No. 10 Texas A&M in their only match against a top-10 opponent thus far this season. State also boasts a win over No. 20 Florida State in the non-conference.

For those looking to follow along, live stats and stream will be provided by the host institutions, with links available on

For the latest on UK Men’s Tennis, follow the Wildcats on Twitter and Instagram at @UKMensTennis.

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