For video of UNCG coach Thomas Mozur's post-match comments, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG's men's tennis team found itself in another nail-biter Saturday against Samford, but the Bulldogs picked up a 4-3 win at the UNCG Tennis Courts with a third-set tiebreaker win at No. 3 singles. The match was the Spartans' fifth straight to end in a 4-3 score.
The match was UNCG's Southern Conference finale this season, and the Spartans finished 6-4 in league play. They are 9-11 overall and will await the rest of the SoCon results around the league over the next week to see where they will be seeded in the upcoming SoCon tournament.
UNCG battled back from a 3-2 deficit to forge the tie and put all the pressure on Court 3. Chanon Varapongsittikul won his first set against Elliot Barnwell 6-0, but Barnwell stormed back with a 6-0 win of his own in the second set to send the contest to a third. There, Barnwell staved off a match point to knot the set at 6 games, sending it to a tiebreaker. Barnwell cruised to the 7-1 win in the tiebreaker to clinch the match for the Bulldogs, who improved to 14-3 overall and 8-1 in conference play.
After the Bulldogs claimed the doubles point, UNCG turned to the top of its singles lineup to get it back into the match. Ahmet Sarioglu rolled to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Carson Kadi at No. 2 for his 21st win of the season, bouncing back from seeing his 10-match winning streak stopped in Thursday's win at Elon.
Senior Orcun Seyrek, playing the final home match of his career, put the finishing touches on his perfect SoCon campaign, stopping Zac Dunkle 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 to wrap up a 10-0 league record in singles play.
Alexander Sajonz tied the match for Samford with a 6-4, 6-0 win over Cameron Smith at No. 5, and Garrison Laduca topped Jimmy Roueche 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 to put the Bulldogs back on top.
Freshman Randy Phillips knotted the match at No. 4, taking a 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 win over Fernando Costa.
In doubles play, Costa and Kadi grabbed an 8-4 win over Roueche and Smith at No. 3, but Seyrek and Sarioglu countered with an 8-4 win over Dunkle and Sajonz at No. 1. Barnwell and Ryan Shidler clinched the crucial point for the Bulldogs with an 8-5 win over Phillips and Varapongsittikul at No. 2.
UNCG closes out regular-season play at Campbell on April 14 at 1 p.m. The SoCon tournament will be in Charleston, S.C., April 19-22.
Samford 4, UNCG 3
1. Orcun Seyrek (UNCG) def. Zac Dunkle (SAM) 6-3, 6-2
2. Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) def. Carson Kadi (SAM) 6-0, 6-3
3. Elliot Barnwell (SAM) def. C. Varapongsittikul (UNCG) 0-6, 6-0, 7-6 (7-1)
4. Randy Phillips (UNCG) def. Fernando Costa (SAM) 6-1, 3-6, 7-5
5. Alexander Sajonz (SAM) def. Cameron Smith (UNCG) 6-4, 6-0
6. Garrison Laduca (SAM) def. Jimmy Roueche (UNCG) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3
1. Ahmet Sarioglu/Orcun Seyrek (UNCG) def. Zac Dunkle/Alexander Sajonz (SAM) 8-4
2. Elliot Barnwell/Ryan Shidler (SAM) def. Randy Phillips/C. Varapongsittikul (UNCG) 8-5
3. Fernando Costa/Carson Kadi (SAM) def. Jimmy Roueche/Cameron Smith (UNCG) 8-4
Samford 14-3, 8-1 SoCon
UNCG 9-11, 6-4 SoCon
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,1,5,6,4,3)
- UNCG -