After collecting two road wins over top-15 teams this past weekend at No. 4 Ole Miss and at No. 13 Mississippi State, the University of Kentucky men’s tennis team climbed to fourth in the nation in this week’s edition of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s weekly rankings, it was announced Tuesday. The No. 4 position marks the highest UK has been since the 2002 position.
Kentucky had been as high as No. 5 in the polls prior to this week, as the Wildcats have played one of the toughest schedules in the nation to this point in the season. Kentucky has played 13 matches with teams that comprise the ITA top 30, all while knocking off nine of those teams. Included in that record, the Wildcats hold an impressive 4-1 record against top-10 teams.
The Southeastern Conference also has an impressive stranglehold on the top of the national standings, as seven of the top-14 teams are in the SEC. Kentucky is the highest-ranked team from the conference. Included in the top 14 are Kentucky (4th), Georgia (6th), Ole Miss (7th), Tennessee (9th), Mississippi State (12th), Vanderbilt (13th) and Texas A&M (14th). It is by far the most teams of any conference in the top 15 of the standings.
While there were no individual rankings this week put out by the ITA, Kentucky does boast two singles players and one doubles team that is ranked nationally. Senior Anthony Rossi is the highest-ranked singles player for UK, as he is 31st nationally, with his fellow Frenchman Tom Jomby right behind him at No. 32. Jomby and freshman Kevin Lai are 29th in the nation in doubles and have been solid all year in the No. 1 position for head coach Cedric Kauffmann’s team.
This weekend, UK’s schedule gets even tougher as the Wildcats welcome in No. 9 Tennessee and No. 6 Georgia for a crucial stretch of tennis in the SEC. Kentucky and the Volunteers of UT will have a first serve of 2:00 pm. ET on Friday at the Hilary J. Boone Varsity Tennis Center, with UK and No. 6 Georgia set to battle for the second time this season on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET in Lexington. Admission is free of charge.