Spartans head to College of Charleston for crucial SoCon clash
UNCG (14-4, 7-1 SoCon) at College of Charleston (12-5, 6-1 SoCon), April 9, 1 p.m., CofC Tennis Center at Patriots Point, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
• Back atop the Southern Conference standings, UNCG's men's tennis team will take on second-place College of Charleston on Saturday with a chance to clinch at least a share of the regular-season league title.
• With only two league matches left on the schedule, the Spartans are vying for just the second regular-season SoCon title in school history and the first since sharing the title with Furman in 2001. UNCG, last year's SoCon tournament champion, has never won the regular season outright. If the Spartans beat CofC and Elon loses to Wofford on Saturday, UNCG would clinch at least a share of the regular-season title.
• Saturday's match will be UNCG's second straight pitting the top two teams in the conference against each other. On Wednesday, Elon came to Greensboro undefeated in conference play, while UNCG was second in the standings at 6-1. The Spartans downed the Phoenix 4-3 as the teams swapped places in the standings. Elon and CofC are now 6-1 in the league, a half-game behind the Spartans.
• Wednesday's match was a thriller from the get-go, with the Phoenix claiming a close doubles point and the Spartans picking up the necessary four singles wins to grab the victory. With Elon leading 2-0 after getting a win at No. 5 singles, freshman Ahmet Sarioglu got UNCG on the board with a win at No. 4. Elon followed with a win at No. 2 to go up 3-1, but UNCG rallied with three straight wins to close it out. Orcun Seyrek won a three-setter at No. 1, Jacob Wright won in straight sets at No. 6 and Yaroslav Litus – who teamed with Wright to win the decisive doubles match in last season's SoCon Championship title match between the two schools – rallied from a 6-5 deficit in the second set to force and win a tiebreaker, locking up the victory.
• UNCG ran its home winning streak to seven matches with the win over Elon. Overall, the Spartans have won 10 of their last 11 matches, with the lone loss in that span coming on March 25 at Appalachian State.
• Seyrek has twice been named the SoCon Player of the Week this season, taking the award on March 9 and again on March 22.
• Overall this season, UNCG is 15-3 at No. 6 singles, 13-5 at No. 5 and 12-6 at No. 4. In SoCon play, UNCG is 7-1 at Nos. 3 and 4.
• A pair of true freshmen lead UNCG in singles wins on the year. Sarioglu is 21-8 overall and 14-4 in dual action, including a 7-1 mark in SoCon play, the best in the league at No. 4. Chanon Varapongsittikul is 13-5 in dual play and 20-9 overall on the season.
• Seyrek, UNCG's No. 1 singles player, is 11-7 in duals and 19-9 overall. Litus is 11-7 in duals and 17-10 overall, including a 6-1 mark in conference play. Redshirt freshman Zach Reece is 8-3 in duals and 16-7 overall. Timion Meijs is 15-10 overall on the season and 11-7 in dual action, while Wright is 7-6 overall and 4-3 in dual action. He is 4-0 at No. 6 and has won his last four matches.
• In doubles play, Litus and Wright are 15-7 overall and 10-6 in duals. Meijs and Seyrek sport a 6-5 mark together, while Sarioglu and Varapongsittikul are 8-5.
• UNCG and College of Charleston have split their last two meetings, with the Spartans taking a 6-1 win in 2009 and the Cougars earning a 6-1 win last season. Last year's contest was a battle of SoCon unbeatens, as both teams came in with 8-0 league records. The Cougars were ranked 74th nationally at the time.
• The Cougars have won three straight since suffering their lone SoCon loss of the season, a 5-2 setback at Elon on March 29. Since then, CofC has beaten Chattanooga, Samford and The Citadel. Overall, CofC has won eight of its last nine.
• CofC cruised past the Bulldogs on Wednesday, sweeping the doubles point and winning singles flights 2-6 for the easy win.
• Mickael Trintignac leads the Cougars with a 14-3 singles record on the season, all of it at No. 2. Trintignac is a SoCon-best 6-1 in conference play at his flight. Tom Delme is 12-4 overall and 7-0 in league play, all at No. 3. Stephen Hardy is 9-0 on the year, all at No. 6, and is 6-0 in SoCon play there. Kyle Parker is 11-16 on the season with a 6-1 league record split between Nos. 3 and 4.
• In doubles play, Lukas Koncilia and Parker are 10-6 together, all at No. 1. Delme and Hardy are 11-6 and have played all three flights. They are 4-1 at No. 3 and 6-5 at No. 2. Mickael Boyer and Trintignac are 7-6 together, mostly at No. 3.
- UNCG -