Spartans gut out 4-3 win over Eagles to open SoCon play
STATESBORO, Ga. – UNCG staged an incredible rally for its first Southern Conference win of the season, rebounding from dropping the doubles point and the first sets in four singles matches to claim a 4-3 win at Georgia Southern in the league opener for both teams.
The teams battled for more than five hours at the Eagles' Hanner Tennis Complex, fighting winds reaching 20 miles per hour as four of the six singles matches went to third sets.
Freshman Cameron Smith clinched the win for the Spartans (4-5, 1-0 SoCon) at No. 5 singles, rallying from a 4-2 deficit in his third set to take the hotly contested 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 7-5 win over Marco Osorio.
The Eagles (1-9, 0-1 SoCon) had the early 1-0 lead thanks to wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles. Osorio and Daniel Rush took an 8-2 win over Chanon Varapongsittikul and Randy Phillips at No. 2, but Orcun Seyrek and Ahmet Sarioglu pulled the Spartans level with an 8-6 over Alain Garrido and Andrew Dromsky at No. 1. Kyle Hoffman and Albert Codina Sala clinched the point for GSU with an 8-5 win over Smith and Jimmy Roueche at No. 3.
Georgia Southern carried that momentum into singles play, winning the first sets at Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 6. Rush wrapped up his 6-0, 6-1 win over Roueche at No. 6 first, giving GSU a 2-0 lead.
Sarioglu finally got the Spartans on the board at No. 2, storming back with 6-1 wins in the second and third sets after dropping the first by a 6-3 count to Hoffman.
Phillips evened the match at 2 apiece with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Dromsky at No. 4, and Seyrek put UNCG on top for the first time on the afternoon with a 7-5, 7-6 (10-8) win over Garrido at No. 1.
Sala tied the match at No. 3, rebounding from a second-set loss to take the 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 win over Varapongsittikul and putting the fate of the match into the hands of Smith and Osorio at No. 5.
"It was a gutsy performance in some pretty extreme conditions," UNCG coach Thomas Mozur said. "We were behind the whole time. After we lost the doubles point, we dropped four out of six first sets. Ahmet and Randy won their second sets pretty quickly, though, and that helped get us going. It's a tough place to play. I'm proud of the effort today."
UNCG steps back out of conference play when it heads to Conway, S.C., for a match at Coastal Carolina on Tuesday. That contest is set for a 2 p.m. start.
UNCG 4, Georgia Southern 3
1. Orcun Seyrek (UNCG) def. Alain Garrido (GSU) 7-5, 7-6 (10-8)
2. Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) def. Kyle Hoffman (GSU) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
3. Albert Codina Sala (GSU) def. C. Varapongsittikul (UNCG) 7-5, 3-6, 6-1
4. Randy Phillips (UNCG) def. Andrew Dromsky (GSU) 3-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Cameron Smith (UNCG) def. Marco Osorio (GSU) 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 7-5
6. Daniel Rush (GSU) def. Jimmy Roueche (UNCG) 6-0, 6-1
1. Orcun Seyrek/Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) def. Alain Garrido/Andrew Dromsky (GSU) 8-6
2. Marco Osorio/Daniel Rush (GSU) def. C. Varapongsittikul/Randy Phillips (UNCG) 8-2
3. Kyle Hoffman/Albert Codina Sala (GSU) def. Cameron Smith/Jimmy Roueche (UNCG) 8-5
Georgia Southern 1-9
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,2,4,1,3,5)
- UNCG -