Men's Tennis Travels to No. 17 Kentucky
Feb. 7, 2014
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 50 Michigan State men's tennis team hits the road again Sunday as it travels to Lexington, Ky., to face No. 17 Kentucky. Play will begin at 1 p.m. from the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center.
Lied, Pfister and Forman all tallied a 4-0 record on the day. With the win, Forman is currently on a five-match winning streak in dual play. Lied improved to a 3-0 record on the No. 1 singles court and Pfister improved to 3-0 on the second court.
MSU's sweep last weekend snapped a three-match losing streak. MSU had dropped its previous three matches, all to opponents ranked higher than the No. 50 Spartans and all matches were on courts away from East Lansing. MSU dropped a tight match to then-No. 29 Notre Dame on Jan. 19, and then fell to then-No. 6 Tennessee and then-No. 34 NC State at the ITA Kick-Off Weekend a week later.
No. 17 Kentucky will be the fourth ranked opponent of the season for the Spartans. Kentucky was ranked as high as No. 8 earlier in the season. Head coach Gene Orlando says his team has learned from each ranked opponent it has played.
"We'll just keep on doing the things we've been doing and trust in that we're doing all the right things and working hard," Orlando said. "We're going to be in a position, we just have to take advantage of that moment when the opportunity presents itself. There's no doubt that we are right there with every team we play. I just think we've got to have a different mentality of playing our game and treating it just like another match. I feel like we treat those other matches as if `ok, here it is, we've got to get this one,' instead of saying `ok, let's just go play,' and what happens happens."
Keying in on Kentucky
Kentucky is coming off its fourth-straight Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament last year under second-year head coach Cedric Kauffmann. Kentucky holds a 5-2 record and has defeated two ranked opponents in then-No. 7 Duke on the road and then-No. 56 Indiana. Its two losses came at the hands of No. 16 Notre Dame on back-to-back weekends.
The Wildcats feature three of their singles players nationally ranked. Sophomore Beck Pennington is the highest ranked player at No. 55, with senior Tom Jomby at No. 68 and sophomore Kevin Lai at No. 97.
Jomby is a perfect 7-0 on the No. 1 singles court. Three of Jomby's wins have come over ranked opponents from Duke, Indiana and Notre Dame. Jomby was named a 2013 ITA All-American and was named to the 2013 All-SEC First Team.
Jomby also teams with sophomore Kevin Lai on the top doubles court. The tandem is 5-2 on the year, with both of their losses coming to Notre Dame.
MSU last faced Kentucky on Jan. 25, 2013, in Lexington, Ky. The No. 9 Wildcats took out the No. 47 Spartans, 4-2. Junior Gijs Linders and sophomore John Patrick Mullane recorded the two wins on the day for MSU.
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