UK MTEN’s Comeback Comes Up Short Against Alabama

The No. 23 Kentucky men’s tennis team fell short in a hard-fought match against the Alabama Crimson Tide Sunday afternoon at the Boone Tennis Complex. This places the Wildcats at 14-9 overall, including a 5-5 record in Southeastern Conference matches. Alabama moves to 10-14 overall and 2-8 in league play.

The Wildcats had a rocky start to the match, giving up the first point by dropping two of three doubles matches. Juniors Gus Benson and Trey Yates were the only Wildcats to come up victorious in doubles, winning their match 6-3. Shortly after, the No. 32 duo of senior Beck Pennington and sophomore Enzo Wallart dropped their match, 6-4 to leave it up to senior Nils Ellefsen and junior William Bushamuka on court two. The deciding match came down to a tiebreak, where Alabama picked up the point with a 7-6 (3) decision.

Despite Kentucky dropping its first two singles matches to give Alabama a 3-0 lead, the Wildcats would rally back and knot the score at three.

Wallart was the first Wildcat to finds his stride, defeating his opponent in straight sets to put Kentucky on the board. With the match still on the line, Kentucky’s two seniors came up huge in their Senior Day performances as Ellefsen came back from losing his first set 6-4, to win the following two sets 6-2, 6-4. Pennington tied things up, winning a hard-fought 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 decision.

With the match tied up, it came down to Trey Yates in No. 5 singles. Yates won the first set, 6-2, but couldn’t pull off the victory, falling in three sets to give Alabama the team win.

UK will be back in action on Friday, April 14, traveling to Arkansas. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. ET.

#23 Kentucky 3, Alabama 4
Boone Tennis Complex – Lexington, Ky.
April 9, 2017

Singles Competition (Order of Finish: 2-1-6-4-3-5)
1 – #31 Mazen Osama (UA) def. #16 Will Bushamuka (UK) 6-1, 6-2
2 – #117 Thibault Cancel (UA) def. #38 Ryotaro Matsumura (UK) 6-0, 6-2
3 – Beck Pennington (UK) def. Alexey Nesterov (UA) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
4 – Nils Ellefsen (UK) def. Spencer Richey (UA) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
5 – Zhe Zhou (UA) def. Trey Yates (UK) 1-6, 6-4, 6-3
6 – Enzo Wallart (UK) def. Ritchie Kruunenberg (UA) 6-3, 6-3

Doubles Competition (Order of Finish: 3-1-2)
1 – #38 Mazen Osama/Spencer Richey (UA) def. #32 Beck Pennington/Enzo Wallart (UK) 6-4
2 – Thibault Cancel/Alexey Nesterov (UA) def. Nils Ellefsen/Will Bushamuka (UK) 7-6 (7-3)
3 – Gus Benson/Trey Yates (UK) def. Zhe Zhou/Ritchie Kruunenberg (UA) 6-3

For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, follow @UKMensTennis on Twitter or Kentucky Men’s Tennis Team on Facebook.

For more information contact:
Mike Scholze

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