GREENSBORO, N.C. – After a trio of non-conference matches that left the UNCG men’s tennis team 1-2 on the season, including a recent 6-1 setback UNC Asheville last weekend, the Spartans begin Southern Conference play on Friday at 2 p.m. against East Tennessee State at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center.
UNCG sophomore Nico Grewe was the lone member team to claim a win against visiting UNC Asheville. Grewe, competing as the second seed in singles play, came through with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Oli Nolan.
The Bulldogs completed the sweep in doubles action as the duo of Olly Cull / Leo Bierbaum began the match with a toughly contested 6-4 win over Roger Rogowski / Ian Melnik. The duo of Nolan / Henry Patten, ranked No. 1 nationally, followed suit with a 6-4 triumph against Grewe / Palmer. The battle of third seeds went unfinished.
Patten notched his second victory of the day in singles action as he downed Palmer by scores of 6-4, 6-0. After Grewe trimmed the team margin to 2-1, following his victory for the Spartans (1-2), the Bulldogs’ Charlie Morkel earned a 6-4, 6-4 win against Rogowski.
Cull secured the team win for the Bulldogs as he managed to fight past Hugh Knapp and claim a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 win in the clash of No. 3 seeds. UNC Asheville followed with a series of straight set victories by Bierbaum (6-3, 6-1) and Quinn Fender (6-2, 6-3), who took on Jack Burkill and Cooper Wyett, respectively.
East Tennessee State (4-3) enters the match coming off a 4-3 victory over Fresno State on Saturday, Feb. 16. It was one of two matches that the Bucs played in Tucson, Ariz., along with a clash against Arizona.
After a 6-1 loss to the Wildcats the previous day, ETSU rebounded to defeat Fresno State. David Gonzalez and Sergi Fontcuberta picked up their second win of the season after defeating Henrique Osorio and Cagatay Soke 6-2. Fresno State’s Zdenek Derkas and Cem Urturk defeated Yusuf Khamis and Frazier Rengifo 6-4 to tie the doubles point. Juan Lugo and Chris Mikrovas put up a strong fight, but fell 7-6 (5) at the No. 1 spot, as the Bulldogs would take the doubles point.
Khamis quickly tied the match 1-1 after he defeated Osorio 6-0, 6-1 to improve his singles record to 5-2. Fontcuberta gave the Bucs a lead with a 6-1, 7-6 (3) win over Angus Bradshaw at the No. 2 spot. Rengifo earned his sixth win of the season after he came back from falling behind in the first set, to defeat Derkas 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Fresno State made the score 3-2 after Soke defeated Gonzalez 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. Lugo would come up big for the Bucs to clinch the match in a long battle after winning 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-2. Jeremy Moser would give the Bulldogs one last point with a 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4) win over Miguel Este (Caracas, Venezuela) at the No. 6 spot.