University of Louisville

Kentucky, Louisville advance to NCAA tennis showdown

Kentucky's Alex Musialek returned the ball against Cleveland State's Rob Fox during first-round singles play. Musialek led the match but did not finish when the Cats clinched.
Kentucky's Alex Musialek returned the ball against Cleveland State's Rob Fox during first-round singles play. Musialek led the match but did not finish when the Cats clinched.

When Kentucky met Louisville in the 1983 NCAA men's basketball tournament, the matchup was billed as the "Dream Game."

Saturday, men's tennis gets its version of the Dream Game as UK plays host to U of L in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Doubles play is scheduled at 3 p.m. Saturday's winner will advance to the round of 16, May 19-24, at Stanford.

Both teams took care of business with 4-0 victories in Friday's opening round at the Boone Tennis Complex.

Tenth-seeded UK rocked Cleveland State. No. 24 U of L blanked No. 42 Cornell.

"I think it's great," UK Coach Dennis Emery said of Saturday's matchup. "It just is such a good opportunity for all of us to showcase what we have in the state. We have two very good programs.

"Had Louisville gone to Texas A&M or something, there wouldn't be the same sense of excitement. So I think it's a great opportunity for both of us."

There are plenty of subplots, aside from the in-state rivalry and NCAA hopes.

UK's No. 1 singles player, Eric Quigley, is from greater Louisville (Pewee Valley).

Bragging rights for best player in the state will be decided between Quigley, No. 6 in the ITA national rankings, and U of L's Austen Childs, who is No. 16.

The teams have not met since 2005, and UK leads the all-time series 25-0.

"It's going to be fun," U of L Coach Rex Ecarma said. "We're going to try to go out there and swing for the fences and see what happens."

UK (27-8) extended its school record for victories by beating Horizon League-champion Cleveland State (16-8) in the first round for a third consecutive year. The Wildcats also topped the Vikings in February.

UK won the doubles point as Alex Musialek and Anthony Rossi defeated Yannick Goossens and Chris Klepatz 8-4, and Tom Jomby and Alberto Gonzalez topped Matt Kuelker and Matt Ford 8-0.

In singles, Gonzalez blitzed Klepatz 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 4 spot; Brad Cox swept Kuelker 6-3, 6-3 at No. 3; and Quigley handled Goossens 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 1 spot. Musialek, Rossi and Jomby all led when play was stopped.

"The score really doesn't show that it was a tough match, but it really was," said Quigley, who in February edged Goossens 6-4, 7-5. "There were a lot of games that were close, could have gone either way, and I guess I played good on the big points."

Quigley's win was his 44th of the season, one shy of the UK record set by Joe Leytze in 1982. Quigley called meeting U of L "exciting," but it's not his Dream Game.

"It'll be fun. I'm sure (there will be) a lot of crowd tomorrow," he said. "But it's just another match in the NCAAs, so no matter who we play everyone's going to be prepared and it's 'win or go home.'"

■ U of L vanquished Cornell in a match that was delayed by rain for about an hour before moving indoors. U of L dominated outdoors, Cornell rallied indoors.

"I know Cornell, they were going to put their Superman cape on in here, and I was just hoping that we could nip them at the finish," Ecarma said. "And we, thankfully, did."

The Big East champions (18-11) got the doubles point with wins by Alejandro Calligari and Robert Hall, and Austen Childs and Adam Donaldson.

Simon Childs was the first to win in singles, in the No. 3 spot, 6-2, 6-3 over Venkat Iyer. Hall, playing No. 4, ousted Jeremy Feldman 6-2, 6-3. Viktor Maksimcuk, at No. 2, upended Jonathan Jaklitsch 6-3, 7-6 (2).

Cornell (26-5) set a school record for victories, won its first Ivy League title and earned its first NCAA berth.

Louisville 4, Cornell 0

Singles — 1. Andy Gauthier (C) led Austen Childs 4-6, 6-3, 4-3 (dnf). 2. Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) d. Jonathan Jaklitsch 6-3, 7-6 (2). 3. Simon Chi9lds (UL) d. Venkat Iyer 6-2, 6-3. 4. Robert Hall (UL) d. Jeremy Feldman 6-2, 6-3. 5. Alejandro Calligari (UL) led Evan Bernstein 6-3, 3-6, 3-2 (dnf). 6. Andrew Carter (UL) led Zhongming Chen 6-0, 1-0 (dnf).

Doubles — 1. Simon Childs/Viktor Maksimcuk (UL) led Jonathan Jaklitsch/Evan Berstein 7-6 (dnf). 2. Alejandro Calligari/Robert Hall (UL) d. Andy Gauthier/Jeremy Feldman 8-2. 3. Austen Childs/Adam Donaldson (UL) d. Mirza Klis/Evan McElwain 8-3.

Kentucky 4, Cleveland State 0

Singles — 1. Eric Quigley (UK) d. Yannick Goossens 6-2, 6-2. 2. Alex Musialek (UK) led Robert Fox 7-5, 1-0 (dnf). 3. Brad Cox (UK) d. Matt Kuelker 6-3, 6-3. 4. Alberto Gonzalez (UK) d. Chris Klepatz 6-0, 6-1. 5. Anthony Rossi (UK) led John Haley 6-3, 5-3 (dnf). 6. Tom Jomby (UK) led Matt Ford 6-4, 5-2 (dnf).

Doubles — 1. Eric Quigley/Brad Cox (UK) led Robert Fox/John Haley 5-4 (dnf). 2. Alex Musialek/Anthony Rossi (UK) d. Yannick Goossens/Chris Klepatz 8-4. 3. Tom Jomby/Alberto Gonzalez (UK) d. Matt Kuelker/Matt Ford 8-0.

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