Four Wildcats Begin NCAA Singles, Doubles Championships
Eric Quigley, Alex Musialek, Anthony Rossi to begin chase for NCAA Singles title Wednesday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Four members of the sixth-ranked University of Kentucky men’s tennis team, including seniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek, junior Anthony Rossi, and sophomore Panav Jha, will begin their pursuit of an individual NCAA championship when they take part in the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships this week in Athens, Ga.
The event will be played at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex on the campus of the University of Georgia and will begin Wednesday with the singles first round. Quigley will begin the action with a first-round showdown with Andre Dome of Cal Poly at 11:30 a.m. ET, while Musialek will play soon after at 2:30 p.m. ET against Damian Hume of Boise State. Rossi will conclude the action Wednesday when he faces No. 2 seed Mitchell Frank of Virginia at 6:30 p.m. ET. The doubles first round will begin Thursday with Quigley/Jha taking on Gregg Cohenca and Evan Zimmer of Bucknell with a time to be determined.
Quigley earned the Southeastern Conference automatic bid into the singles event, while Musialek and Rossi earned two of 50 at-large selections. Quigley is seeded third in the event, while Musialek is seeded in the 9-16 group. Quigley and Jha will team up as doubles partners after earning the SEC automatic qualifying spot in doubles. The duo is seeded 5-8 in the doubles event.
Quigley, Musialek and Jha each earned All-America honors based on being seeded in the event. Quigley is now a five-time All-American, earning three singles honors and two doubles honors. Quigley is the second five-time All-American in school history, joining Jesse Witten, who was a four-time singles All-American and a doubles All-American in 2005. This is the first All-American honor for both Musialek and Jha, who become the 18th and 19th players in school history to earn the distinction.
“Really proud of all four of these guys for all the hard work they have put in this season,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “I can’t think of a better way to send out Eric and Alex then as All-Americans. Eric is a three-time singles All-American and has a total of five All-American honors. There aren’t too many players walking around with those credentials.
“Alex is one of the best players we have ever had here and he made a goal at the beginning of the season to be an All-American and it’s nice to see him accomplish that. He just had a great season on the court and I am so proud of how hard he has worked this season.”
Quigley has had a sensational senior season for the Wildcats, posting a 48-7 record in singles action, including an 11-0 mark this spring against SEC foes and a 25-2 record in dual matches. The co-captain's 48 singles wins this season breaks the school record for most singles wins in a season, while earlier this year he became the winningest singles player in school history with career win No. 145. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., is currently ranked third in the nation in singles and has not fallen out of the top 10 in the nation in singles all season long. The senior has earned 19 wins over currently ranked foes this spring, including seven wins over players currently ranked in the top 15.
Musialek is also having a great senior season, holding a 28-11 overall record, including a 14-6 mark in dual matches and a 7-3 record in SEC matches. The senior has won seven of his last nine matches, including five against ranked foes. The co-captain's biggest accomplishment this season was earning his 100th career singles victory, becoming only the 14th player in school history to claim that honor. Musialek is 106-48 in his singles career. The native of Dax, France, has been ranked in the top 25 in singles all season long, currently sitting at No. 15.
Rossi has busted onto the scene as one of the best players in the SEC this season after winning the SEC Coaches' Indoor Singles Championship earlier this year. The junior, who was named the ITA Ohio Valley Regional Player to Watch, is 37-6 this season overall and 22-4 in dual matches. The star has been ranked in the ITA singles all season long, peaking at No. 13. Rossi is currently ranked 22nd, which is his eighth consecutive top-30 ranking. The native of Marseille, France, has won seven consecutive matches this season with wins over eight ranked players in dual matches.
“A difficult but challenging draw for Anthony in the singles tournament,” Emery said. “Rossi will play Mitchell Frank of Virginia in the first round, who was ranked No. 1 almost the entire season and won two of the grand slams this fall. This will be a hard match, but we are excited to see how he can do against one of the best players in the nation.
Jha and Quigley have been ranked in the ITA doubles polls nearly all spring, sitting in the top 20 for six straight weeks. The duo is 19-12 on the year, including 5-3 in SEC play. Jha and Quigley have defeated nine ranked doubles teams this spring.
“Panav has really done a great job for us in doubles this season,” Emery said. “He complements Eric in doubles well and they both have played great against some of the best doubles teams in the nation. Not many freshmen earn All-American honors, so this is a big honor for him.”
For NCAA Tournament live scores, streaming video, ticket information and more, visit the tournament central webpage here: http://www.georgiadogs.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/ncaa-2012.html.
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