GREENSBORO, N.C. – In a battle of the top two teams in the Southern Conference, Yaroslav Litus won a second-set tiebreaker at No. 3 singles to clinch UNCG's 4-3 win over Elon on Wednesday and put the Spartans back on top of the league standings.
The Spartans moved to 14-4 overall and 7-1 in the SoCon, half a game clear of Elon (14-6, 6-1) and College of Charleston (12-5, 6-1), UNCG's next opponent.
In a rematch of last season's SoCon tournament title match – also won by the Spartans 4-3 – Litus won the first set against Eric Turner 7-5 and held what seemed like a comfortable 5-2 lead in the second set before Turner ripped off four straight games to take a 6-5 lead. Litus would answer by winning the next game to force a tiebreaker and won that 7-4 to clinch UNCG's third straight win against the Phoenix.
The Spartans had to win four singles matches to grab the win after being swept in doubles.
At No. 2, Alberto Rojas and Cody Stauffer-MacDowell won four of their final five games to down Litus and Jacob Wright, 8-4.
The Phoenix made it a 2-0 match with Rojas' 6-2, 6-4 win over Varapongsittikul at No. 5 singles, but Sarioglu put UNCG on the board with his 6-4, 6-2 win over Helpingstine at No. 4.
Silverman, the reigning SoCon Player of the Week, overcame a 5-2 deficit in the first set to take a 7-5, 6-1 win over Meijs at No. 2 to make it 3-1, putting Elon on the brink of the win.
The Spartans had other ideas, however, as Seyrek bounced back from a first-set loss to top Nemec 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1.
Wright wrapped up a 6-3, 6-1 win over Thomas Darling at No. 6 to tie the match at 3, shifting the crowd's focus to court No. 3, where Litus and Turner were battling it out to see which team would emerge atop the league standings.
UNCG, which also led the league for the first half of the season before suffering its lone league loss at Appalachian State on March 25, will play in its second straight 1-2 SoCon matchup Saturday when it heads to Charleston, S.C., for a date with the CofC Cougars. That match is set for a 1 p.m. start.
UNCG 4, Elon 3
1. Orcun Seyrek (UNCG) def. Philip Nemec (ELON) 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
2. Cameron Silverman (ELON) def. Timion Meijs (UNCG) 7-5, 6-1
3. Yaroslav Litus (UNCG) def. Eric Turner (ELON) 7-5, 7-6 (7-4)
4. Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) def. Chase Helpingstine (ELON) 6-4, 6-2
5. Alberto Rojas (ELON) def. Ch. Varapongsittikul (UNCG) 6-2, 6-4
6. Jacob Wright (UNCG) def. Thomas Darling (ELON) 6-3, 6-1
1. #49 Chase Helpingstine/Philip Nemec (ELON) def. Orcun Seyrek/Timion Meijs (UNCG) 8-6
2. Alberto Rojas/Cody S-MacDowell (ELON) def. Yaroslav Litus/Jacob Wright (UNCG) 8-4
3. Cameron Silverman/Eric Turner (ELON) def. Ch. Varapongsittikul/Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) 8-7 (7-3)
Elon 14-6, 6-1 SoCon
UNCG 14-4, 7-1 SoCon
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (5,4,2,1,6,3)
- UNCG -