University of Kentucky freshman Tom Jomby rallied in singles play to push No. 10 Kentucky past No. 7 Florida, 4-2, in the NCAA Championships.
Kentucky (29-8) advances to the quarterfinals against two-time defending national champion Southern California, which took down Georgia Tech 4-0 on Thursday. UK fell to USC last year in the round of 16 in Athens, Ga.
"This is one of the biggest wins for our program in a long time to beat a top-eight team like Florida," UK head coach Dennis Emery said. "Florida is a great team and to do it at this venue at Stanford with a berth in the quarterfinals on the line is huge for this program."
The win over Florida (20-9) was UK's second over a top-10 team this season and moved the Cats to within one victory of the program's first 30-win season in school history.
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"I felt like we fought very hard," Florida head coach Andy Jackson said. "I thought that we got beat by a team that played better than us, a team that's really good."
Kentucky led throughout the match and was up 3-2 when Jomby sealed UK's ticket to the quarterfinals. After Florida's Spencer Newman started the match by posting a 6-0 first-set win, Jomby answered in the second set, grabbing two breaks to win 6-3 and even the match.
In the third set, Jomby went up two breaks at 3-0. After Newman took a medical timeout, the Florida freshman answered with three straight games to tie the set 3-3. Jomby then broke to go up 4-3 and held serve to take a 5-3 lead. Jomby served out the set to win 6-4 and give UK the win.
"When Jomby plays like that he is very difficult to beat," Emery said. "He hits the ball hard and serves big. When he is not making mistakes and stays in the match emotionally, he is a tough out."