#8 Wildcats Drop Broncos 4-0
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Western Michigan men's tennis team dropped a tough battle with a national top-10 team, but the Broncos fell short 4-0 to the #8 Kentucky Wildcats at the Hilary J. Boone Indoor Courts on Friday. With the loss, the Broncos conclude the season with a 19-10 record.
The Broncos showed heart against the Wildcats, with two matches in which the Broncos led or were tied cut short due to Kentucky clinching the win; Aaron Wong led 4-2 in the third set of the No. 3 singles match, while Nadin Indre Was embroiled in a nail-biting second-set tiebreaker with nationally-ranked Anthony Rossi.
"I thought our guys represented the Mid-American Conference and the University in a great way," said head coach Dave Morin. "We earned our way here to Kentucky, and they did it first class for our players.
"I think we saw a tremendous amount of growth from the fall to now," said Morin. "Different guys in different spots provided for us. I think they did it as a team. No one was thinking about themselves, they were thinking what they had to do to make the team better. They've been a fun group to coach."
The Wildcats jumped out to a quick lead in doubles play, earning victories on courts three and two to clinch the doubles session and take the 1-0 match lead. The doubles pairing of Rossi and Juan Pablo Murra gave the Wildcats the edge with an 8-1 win in No. 3 doubles over Ross VanderPloeg and Andrew Cahn, and the 'Cats clinched the point with an 8-3 win over Aaron Wong and Jim Beckwith at No. 2 doubles.
The Broncos responded with strong play in singles, holding the Wildcats off and nearly taking two matches. Wong overcame Charles Minc in a first set tiebreaker before dropping the second set, but was looking to serve out a third set win; Wong's match wrapped with the Bronco leading 7-6 (5), 1-6, 4-1. Indre found himself in his second set tiebreaker of the evening against #5 Rossi; Indre's match was abandoned as he trailed 7-6 (5), 6-6 (2-1).
Kentucky opened singles with a win at No. 2 singles, as VanderPloeg fell to #23 Tom Jomby 6-0, 6-4. Ruben Greiner came up just a tad short against Kevin Lai at No. 4 singles, falling 6-2, 7-6 (3), and Grant Roberts sealed the match with a win at No. 5 singles over Andrew Cahn.
No. 8 Kentucky 4, Western Michigan 0
Doubles: (Order of finish: 3, 2*)
1- No. 9 Tom Jomby/Kevin Lai (UK) led Nadin Indre/Ruben Greiner (WMU) 6-3, unfinished
2- Ryuji Hirooka/Beck Pennington (UK) def. Aaron Wong/Jim Beckwith (WMU) 8-3
3- Anthony Rossi/Juan Pablo Murra (UK) def. Ross VenderPloeg/Andrew Cahn (WMU) 8-1
Singles: (Order of finish: 2, 4, 5*)
1- No. 5 Anthony Rossi (UK) led Nadin Indre (WMU) 7-6 (5), 6-6 (1-2), unfinished
2- No. 23 Tom Jomby (UK) def. Ross VanderPloeg (WMU) 6-0, 6-4
3- Aaron Wong (WMU) led Charles Minc (UK) 7-6 (5), 1-6, 4-1, unfinished
4- Kevin Lai (UK) def. Ruben Greiner (WMU) 6-2, 7-6 (3)
5- Grant Roberts (UK) def. Andrew Cahn (WMU) 6-1, 6-1
6- Beck Pennington (UK) vs. Pablo Mora (WMU) 1-1, unfinished