No. 70 UNCG returns home to face UNCW on Wednesday
UNCG (5-2) vs. UNCW (13-3), March 16, 2:30 p.m., UNCG Tennis Courts
- After a pair of road matches, UNCG will return to the friendly confines of the UNCG Tennis Courts as it hosts UNC Wilmington on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
- The Spartans are a perfect 3-0 at home this season, while sporting a 2-2 record in road matches. Their only two losses this season have come against No. 3 North Carolina and No. 46 Virginia Tech.
- Last Monday, UNCG easily defeated UNC Asheville on the road, 6-1. The Spartans swept the doubles points with relative ease, before winning five of the six singles matches. UNCG won at No. 6 singles due to a forfeit by the Bulldogs after having just five healthy players available.
- UNC Wilmington comes into the match with an impressive 13-3 overall record after defeating Big Ten foe Minnesota and North Carolina Central on Monday afternoon. The Seahawks have now won four matches in a row, since their 5-2 setback on March 7 against No. 61 Georgia State.
- Sophomore transfer Niltooli Wilkins has provided a spark for the Spartans from her No. 1 singles position. She is nearly perfect at 6-1 so far in the spring and has also teamed up with Lucy Dougherty in doubles to post an equally impressive 6-1 record. Last week, Wilkins was named the SoCon Player of the Month as she went a perfect 4-0 in singles and 4-0 in doubles in the month of February. She was also honored as the SoCon Player of the Week on March 1 for her play against Chattanooga and Samford.
- On Feb. 26-27, the Spartans opened Southern Conference play with a pair of victories. UNCG started things on Saturday by sweeping Chattanooga 7-0 and then defeated No. 74 Samford, 4-3, to move to 2-0 in the league. The Spartans took the doubles point and all six singles matches against the Mocs. UNCG won the deciding doubles point against the Bulldogs on Sunday before splitting the singles matches.
- Back on Feb. 16, UNCG traveled to Greenville, N.C. to face East Carolina in a nonconference tilt. The Spartans got the match started off on a good note by taking the doubles points, but fell behind in singles after dropping the first two matches. UNCG came storming back though to take the final four singles matches, all coming in three sets, to defeat the Pirates, 5-2.
- Last season, the Spartans went 10-11 during the spring season. UNCG also had a 4-6 mark in Southern Conference matches to finish in seventh place as a team.
- At the conclusion of the season, the Spartans earned plenty of awards from the Southern Conference. Alex Whitehead was named second-team All-SoCon at the No. 1 singles position, while Annette Rios claimed second-team honors at No. 5 singles. Whitehead also teamed up with Mikayla Rogers to earn second-team All-SoCon at No. 3 doubles.
- Whitehead and Rios weren't done collecting postseason hardware as the duo were both named to the Southern Conference All-Freshman Team after the year was over.
- The Spartans received a boost during the fall portion of their schedule from Niltooli Wilkins, a sophomore transfer from Minnesota. Wilkins went 11-5 during the fall in singles competition, including victories in her first six matches as a Spartan.
- Perhaps the greatest win for UNCG in the fall was Wilkins' defeat over Hilary Bartlett from Pinceton, who was ranked 49th in the nation at the time, 2-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-7), at the Kitty Harrison Invitational.
- UNCG found success earlier this season at the Air Force Invitational at the beginning of October. Whitehead teamed up with Stephanie Macfarlane to earn runner-up honors in doubles, while Wilkins claimed runner-up honors in singles at the event.
- The Spartans also had tremendous success as they hosted the Spartans Doubles Challenge. UNCG went 16-4 overall at the event with Wilkins and Whitehead winning the Navy group, while Devon Sutherland and Dilara Yurtkuran claimed top honors in the Gold group.
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