Kentucky tennis enters spring at No. 12 in ITA Coaches Poll

Wildcats to face nine ranked foes in regular season  

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association unveiled its 2022 Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll on Wednesday, ranking the Kentucky Wildcats No. 12 in the nation.

Kentucky is scheduled to face nine ranked foes in the regular season, including half of the top 10.

The Wildcats’ first ranked contest will be at home against No. 7 Virginia on Feb. 4, followed by a trip to No. 6 Ohio State on Feb. 11.

The remaining seven matchups will come during Southeastern Conference play, starting with unanimously top-ranked reigning national champion Florida on March 6 at Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Kentucky will also host No. 19 Texas A&M (March 20), No. 4 Tennessee (April 8) and No. 8 Georgia (April 10), while facing No. 18 Ole Miss (March 27), No. 13 South Carolina (April 3) and No. 20 Mississippi State (April 17) on the road.

The Wildcats have a chance to taste ranked competition early the second day of ITA Kickoff Weekend on Jan. 30 if paired with host Mississippi State.

No. 4 Gabriel Diallo leads five Kentucky players included in the latest ITA Singles Rankings, accompanied by No. 45 Francois Musitelli, No. 89 JJ Mercer, No. 90 Joshua Lapadat and No. 122 Yasha Zemel. Mercer and Lapadat check in at No. 34 in the ITA Doubles Rankings.

Reigning ITA National Player of the Year Liam Draxl and fifth-year senior Millen Hurrion were not considered for last December’s individual rankings after foregoing the fall collegiate season and opting for a spring 2022 debut.

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