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Quigley, Musialek, Jha Shine at Day Two of NCAA Championships

Kentucky seniors Eric Quigley, Alex Musialek advance to round of 16 in singles event

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s tennis team had another successful day at the NCAA Singles and Doubles Championships on Thursday with seniors Eric Quigley and Alex Musialek earning wins in singles, while Quigley and sophomore Panav Jha earned a win in doubles. The tournament is being played at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga., and is hosted by the University of Georgia.

No. 3 Quigley and No. 15 Musialek both won their second round singles matches to advance to the round of 16. Kentucky is one of four schools in the country with two or more players in the round of 16, joining Virginia, Mississippi State and Ohio State. Quigley and Musialek will continue action Friday with Quigley taking on No. 13 Artem Ilyushin of Mississippi State, while Musialek will battle No. 39 Alex Domijan of Virginia. Times will be announced later.

Quigley and Jha, who are ranked seventh in the nation in doubles, become the first UK tandem to advance out of the first round of the doubles event since Quigley and former UK All-American Brad Cox went to the quarterfinals in 2010. The UK duo will compete in the doubles round of 16 Friday against either No. 13 Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz or Andre Come and Matt Fawcett. Times for doubles will be announced later.

Quigley faced tough competition in the second round, competing against No. 18 Andreas Mies of Auburn. Mies jumped on Quigley early, taking a 3-0 lead in the match before the UK star would win three consecutive games to tie the score 3-3. Both players would hold serve the rest of the set to force a tiebreaker. Mies would again jump out to a lead, going up 4-2 in the tiebreaker before Quigley won five consecutive points to grab the 7-4 win and earn the set. Quigley would have an easier second set, earning a break early to roll to a 6-3 win.

“Very effective and productive match for Eric,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “I am really happy with how he came in and took care of business. He will have a tough match tomorrow against Mississippi State’s No. 1 player, who he beat earlier this season.”

The win is Quigley’s 51st of the season, improving his career record to an impressive 169-46. Quigley, who is making his third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship, has now advanced to the round of 16 of the event two times. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., advanced to the round of 16 as a sophomore before falling in the second round last season.

Musialek had a thrilling three-set win for the second day in a roll, taking down No. 52 Ignacio Taboada of Georgia. Musialek started the match fast with a 4-0 lead eventually rolling to a 6-2 first-set win. Both players held their ground in the second set, forcing a tiebreaker that Taboada would eventually win 11-9. Musialek responded from dropping the tiebreaker to take a 2-0 lead in the second set before Taboada knotted the score at 2-2. After both players held serve multiple times, Musialek would break the UGA star at 5-4 to earn the third set 6-4 and advance to the round of 16.

“Musialek was up a set and break and then Taboada got hot and forced a tiebreaker,” Emery said. “Alex played a great third set though and then finished it off with a great game to break there at the end and earn the win. Another tough match for Alex tomorrow against Alex Domijan of Virginia, who spent most of last season ranked first or second in the nation.”

This is the first career appearance for Musialek in the NCAA Singles round of 16 after falling in the second round last season and the first round his sophomore season. The native of Dax, France is now 30-11 on the season in singles, moving his career record to 108-48.

Quigley and Jha concluded the action on day two, earning a first-round win in doubles action against Gregg Cohenca and Evan Zimmer of Bucknell. The UK duo, which is ranked seventh in the nation in doubles and seeded in the 5-8 group, controlled the match from beginning to end, winning the first set 6-2 before completing the victory with a 6-0 win in the second set. Quigley/Jha is now 21-12 on the season.

“Both our guys just played very well in doubles,” Emery said. “Both players served the ball very well and that was the key to the match.”

For NCAA Tournament live scores, streaming video, ticket information and more, visit the tournament central webpage here:

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