No. 70 UNCG to host pair of SoCon foes this weekend
No. 70 UNCG (5-3, 2-0) vs. Appalachian State (6-5, 0-2), March 19, 1 p.m., UNCG Tennis Courts
No. 70 UNCG vs. Western Carolina (2-7, 1-4), March 20, 1 p.m., UNCG Tennis Courts
- UNCG will look to stay perfect in the Southern Conference as the Spartans host Appalachian State and Western Carolina this weekend at the UNCG Tennis Courts. The Spartans will play the Mountaineers on Saturday at 1 p.m. followed by the Catamounts on Sunday at 1 p.m.
- On Wednesday, UNCG suffered its first home defeat of the season as the Spartans fell to UNCW, 6-1. UNCG won the first doubles match, but narrowly dropped the other two, 8-6, to lose the doubles point. UNCG continued to falter in singles as it dropped five of the six matches, the lone win coming from Niltooli Wilkins at No. 1 singles.
- 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.
- Appalachian State comes into the match with a 6-5 overall record and an 0-2 mark in the Southern Conference. The Mountaineers started the season with a 6-3 record in nonconference play, but was swept by Georgia Southern on Sunday and narrowly fell to Elon on Wednesday, 4-3.
- Western Carolina has opened the season with a 2-7 record and 1-4 in the league matches. After going 1-3 in nonconference matches, the Catamounts fell to Chattanooga, Samford and Elon before defeating Davidson, 4-3, for their lone SoCon win. Western Carolina also fell to Wofford on Wednesday by a 7-0 score. In the Catamounts' seven losses this season they have only won five points total.
- Sophomore transfer Niltooli Wilkins has provided a spark for the Spartans from her No. 1 singles position. She is nearly perfect at 7-1 so far in the spring and has also teamed up with Lucy Dougherty in doubles to post an equally impressive 6-2 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.
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