ELON, N.C. – In the conclusion of Wednesday's suspended men's tennis match, UNCG stormed back from a 3-1 deficit and first-set losses in five of the six singles flights to take an incredible 4-3 win over Southern Conference rival Elon on Thursday at The Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Freshman Cameron Smith clinched the match for the Spartans at No. 5.
After Elon (8-12, 5-4 SoCon) opened singles play with three straight wins, UNCG (9-10, 6-3 SoCon) battled back to tie the match at 3, putting the fate of the contest in the hands of Smith and Juan Madrid at No. 5 singles.
Smith was the only Spartan to win his first set, picking up a 7-5 win, but Madrid answered with a 6-3 win in the second set. With every other singles match in the books early in Smith and Madrid's third set, all eyes were on the fifth court in the rivalry clash. Smith emerged victorious, grabbing the 6-3 win in the third set to clinch UNCG's fourth straight win over Elon. All four have come by 4-3 scores.
Orcun Seyrek forged the tie at No. 1, rebounding from a first-set loss to claim the 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 win over Cameron Silverman in a hotly contested match befitting the top two singles players in the conference. Seyrek and Silverman came into the match with identical 8-0 SoCon records and the top two overall records at No. 1. Seyrek now stands a league-best 14-5 at No. 1, while Silverman falls to 14-6.
Just before Seyrek finished off his win, freshman Randy Phillips closed out another comeback victory to give UNCG life. Phillips also dropped his first set 7-5 to Andrew Prince at No. 4, but he came back with wins of 6-4 and 7-6 in the next two sets, topping Prince 12-10 in an intense third-set tiebreaker, to get the Spartans on the board in singles play.
Seyrek and Phillips each fought off three match points in their third sets to take their crucial wins.
Elon had had the run of it in singles play to that point, picking up the first three wins to move to the brink of clinching the match.
Carlos Arboleda got things going with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Jimmy Roueche at No. 6, and Jordan Kaufman gave the Phoenix the lead with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Chanon Varapongsittikul at No. 3.
Stefan Fortmann then halted Ahmet Sarioglu's 10-match winning streak at No. 2, grabbing a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 win to make it 3-1 in the Phoenix's favor. Sarioglu dropped to 8-1 in the SoCon, joining Silverman in falling from the ranks of unbeaten in league play.
The Spartans won the doubles point Wednesday before heavy rains drenched the area and forced the suspension of the match.
Phillips and Varapongsittikul cruised to an 8-2 win over Prince and Christopher Geaslen at No. 2, while Smith and Roueche topped Kaufman and Dan Sablik 8-5 at No. 3.
The Phoenix avoided the doubles sweep at No. 1, where Silverman and Fortmann earned an 8-6 win over Seyrek and Sarioglu.
UNCG hosts Samford on Saturday at noon in a Senior Day contest at the UNCG Tennis Courts. The match will be the final home contest for Seyrek, the Spartans' lone senior.
UNCG 4, Elon 3
1. Orcun Seyrek (UNCG) def. Cameron Silverman (ELON) 5-7, 6-2, 7-5
2. Stefan Fortmann (ELON) def. Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
3. Jordan Kaufman (ELON) def. C. Varapongsittikul (UNCG) 6-2, 6-2
4. Randy Phillips (UNCG) def. Andrew Prince (ELON) 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (12-10)
5. Cameron Smith (UNCG) def. Juan Madrid (ELON) 7-5, 3-6, 6-3
6. Carlos Arboleda (ELON) def. Jimmy Roueche (UNCG) 6-4, 6-1
1. Cameron Silverman/Stefan Fortmann (ELON) def. Orcun Seyrek/Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) 8-6
2. Randy Phillips/C. Varapongsittikul (UNCG) def. Christopher Geaslen/Andrew Prince (ELON) 8-2
3. Cameron Smith/Jimmy Roueche (UNCG) def. Dan Sablik/Jordan Kaufman (ELON) 8-5
UNCG 9-10, 6-3
Elon 8-12, 5-4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (6,3,2,4,1,5)
- UNCG -