UC Irvine's men's tennis team, ranked No. 22 nationally, defeated No. 18 Kentucky, 5-4, Saturday for a season-opening victory in the Minnesota Challenge Tournament at Minneapolis.
Irvine's No. 1 doubles team of Julian Barrham and Darren Yates defeated Rich Benson and Greg Van Emberg of Kentucky, 6-3, 7-6, in the deciding match.
Benson and Van Emberg were the nation's No. 3-ranked doubles team.
Irvine's No. 1 singles player, Mark Kaplan, defeated Benson.
Irvine is 1-0 and Kentucky dropped to 3-1.
Irvine will play Minnesota in the tournament final today.