No. 3 seed UNCG (15-5) at Southern Conference Championship, April 21-23, Champions Club, Chattanooga, Tenn.
LiveStats: UNCGSpartans.com (via SoConSports.com)
• UNCG's men's tennis team will open defense of its Southern Conference Championship title when it begins play at the 2011 edition on Thursday at the Champions Club in Chattanooga.
• The third-seeded Spartans will face either sixth-seeded Furman or 11th-seeded The Citadel in Thursday's quarterfinal round at 3 p.m. The Paladins and Bulldogs will square off in Wednesday's first round.
• UNCG won its first-ever SoCon Championship last season, downing Elon in the title match, 4-3. The Spartans dropped Furman in the semifinals of the abbreviated tournament, which included only the top four teams in the league as part of the conference's cost-cutting measures for the academic year.
• In last season's title match, the teams played singles first due to the threat of rain and came away tied at 3. When the teams split Nos. 1 and 2 doubles, the match came down to No. 3, where Yaroslav Litus and Jacob Wright won four of the final five games to clinch the win for the Spartans.
• With the 2010 tournament title, UNCG earned its first-ever NCAA bid, as well. The Spartans dropped a 4-0 decision to Georgia in Athens, Ga., in the first round of the tournament.
• The Spartans have had a lengthy layoff since their last action, a 6-1 win over Furman on April 11. Should the Paladins top the Bulldogs on Wednesday, it will mark the second straight season in which UNCG will have closed the regular season with Furman and then faced the Paladins again in the SoCon tournament in its next match.
• Last time out, UNCG grabbed wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to clinch the doubles point, then won at Nos. 1-5 singles to cruise past the Paladins.
• Four Spartans earned postseason SoCon honors this week. Orcun Seyrek, Timion Meijs and Ahmet Sarioglu earned All-SoCon distinction, while Chanon Varapongsittikul and Sarioglu were All-Freshman selections. Seyrek took first-team honors in singles and doubles, Meijs took first-team doubles honors and Sarioglu was a second-team singles pick.
• 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 15-5 at No. 6 singles, 14-6 at No. 5 and 13-7 at No. 4. In SoCon play, UNCG went 8-2 at Nos. 3 and 4.
• A pair of true freshmen lead UNCG in singles wins on the year. Sarioglu is 22-9 overall and 15-5 in dual action. Varapongsittikul is 14-6 in dual play and 21-10 overall on the season.
• Seyrek, UNCG's No. 1 singles player, is 12-8 in duals and 20-10 overall. Litus is 12-8 in duals and 18-11 overall. Redshirt freshman Zach Reece is 8-3 in duals and 16-7 overall. Meijs is 16-11 overall on the season and 12-8 in dual action, while Wright is 7-8 overall and 4-5 in dual action.
• In doubles play, Litus and Wright are 16-8 overall and 11-7 in duals. Meijs and Seyrek sport a 7-6 mark together, while Sarioglu and Varapongsittikul are 9-6.
• UNCG topped The Citadel on April 3, 7-0. Entering play Wednesday, the Bulldogs are 3-20 on the season, with none of those wins coming over NCAA Division I opponents. The Citadel went 0-10 against the league.
• Furman enters play Wednesday with a 7-17 overall record. The Paladins went 5-5 in SoCon play.
• In addition to its wins over Furman and The Citadel during the regular season, UNCG went 6-2 against the rest of the league, picking up wins over Wofford (6-1), Samford (5-2), Chattanooga (6-1), Davidson (5-2), Georgia Southern (7-0) and Elon (4-3) and dropping contests at Appalachian State (6-1) and College of Charleston (7-0).
• UNCG is 1-1 against Furman all-time in the SoCon Championship, with each of those two meetings coming in the last two tournaments. The Paladins took a 4-0 win in the semifinals of the 2009 tournament, while the Spartans avenged that loss with a 4-1 win in last year's semis. UNCG has never faced The Citadel at the SoCon tournament.
• The Spartans are 1-1 against College of Charleston at the tournament, 0-1 against Chattanooga, 1-5 against Davidson, 1-0 against Elon and 1-2 against Georgia Southern. UNCG also went 0-2 against former SoCon member East Tennessee State. Overall, the Spartans are 5-12 in SoCon tournament play with one title.
Match 1: No. 8 Georgia Southern vs. No. 9 Chattanooga, 3 p.m.
Match 2: No. 7 Wofford vs. No. 10 Davidson, 3 p.m.
Match 3: No. 6 Furman vs. No. 11 The Citadel, 3 p.m.
Match 4: No. 1 Elon vs. Match 1 winner, 1 p.m.
Match 5: No. 4 Appalachian State vs. No. 5 Samford, 1 p.m.
March 6: No. 2 College of Charleston vs. Match 2 winner, 3 p.m.
Match 7: No. 3 UNCG vs. Match 3 winner, 3 p.m.
Match 8: Semifinal 1, 2 p.m.
Match 9: Semifinal 2, 2 p.m.
Match 10: Championship, 2 p.m.
- UNCG -