Men's tennis gets back into league play at Furman, Wofford
UNCG (6-8, 3-1 SoCon) at Furman (4-11, 1-1 SoCon), March 23, 3 p.m., Greenville, S.C.
UNCG at Wofford (2-8, 1-2 SoCon), March 24, 1 p.m., Spartanburg, S.C.
- UNCG returns to Southern Conference play when it heads to South Carolina's Upstate for matches at Furman and Wofford on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
- The Spartans, who have alternated wins and losses over their last nine matches, fell at East Carolina on Wednesday, 5-2. Ahmet Sarioglu and Randy Phillips picked up singles wins, while Phillips was the Spartans' only double winner on the day, teaming with Chanon Varapongsittikul for a win at No. 2 doubles.
- UNCG has opened league play with wins over Georgia Southern, The Citadel and Davidson and a loss to Chattanooga. In their last SoCon match, the Spartans downed Davidson in Greensboro, 5-2, on March 17.
- Sarioglu, a sophomore, leads the team in singles wins with a 16-7 mark on the season and is 10-4 in dual play, all at No. 2. He has won six straight matches. Senior Orcun Seyrek is second on the squad in wins at 12-9 with a 9-5 dual mark, all at No. 1. Phillips is also in double digits with an 11-12 record, including a 7-7 record at No. 4.
- In doubles play, Varapongsittikul and Phillips are a team-best 12-7 with a 7-7 mark at No. 2 and have won five consecutive matches together. Sarioglu and Seyrek are 11-7 with a 9-5 mark at No. 1. Cameron Smith and Jimmy Roueche are 3-11 at No. 3.
- Furman is 4-11 overall after Tuesday's 4-3 loss to UNC Asheville. The match with the Bulldogs was every bit as close as the final score indicated, with the top four singles flights going to three sets. UNCA's two wins in doubles were the deciding factor as the teams split in singles.
- The Paladins are 1-1 in SoCon play with a loss at Samford and a win at Chattanooga, the only league team to beat UNCG so far this year.
- Andrew Mellow, who is ranked 110th nationally in singles, leads the squad with a 7-7 record, all at No. 1. Joel Cook is 6-9 and has played at Nos. 2, 3 and 4 and Tyler Droll is 6-6 at Nos. 4, 5 and 6. He is 5-3 at No. 6.
- Cooke and Alex Christ are a team-best 4-7 in doubles play with a 2-6 mark at No. 1 and a 2-1 record at No. 2. Mellow and Jacob Behal are 3-9 together with a 1-6 record at No. 1.
- UNCG and Furman both competed at the USTA/ITA Carolinas Regional in October, with Christ and Cook downing Sarioglu and Seyrek in doubles play. In singles, UNCG's Phillips topped Cook in straight sets.
- UNCG and Furman have faced each twice in each of the last three seasons. In 2009, Furman swept a pair of contests from the Spartans, winning 6-1 in the regular season and 4-0 in the second round of the SoCon tournament. UNCG gained a measure of revenge in 2010, finishing the regular season with a 5-2 loss to the Paladins but evening the score a week later in the first round of the SoCon tournament with a 4-1 victory. Those results were reversed last season, with the Spartans topping Furman 6-1 to end the regular season then falling to Furman 4-1 in the quarterfinal round of the SoCon tournament 10 days later.
- Wofford is 2-8 overall and topped The Citadel on March 17 to snap a five-match losing streak. The Terriers are 1-2 in league play with losses to Samford and College of Charleston.
- In the 6-1 win over The Citadel, the Terriers grabbed the doubles point with wins at Nos. 1 and 2 and got singles wins everywhere but at the top flight.
- Both of Wofford's wins have come at home this season. The Terriers, who are 2-1 at home, also topped USC Lancaster in Spartanburg on Jan. 31.
- Walker Heffron leads the Terriers in singles wins with a 5-3 mark, all at No. 6. Rob Galloway is second with a 4-6 record, mostly at No. 4. Tinus Van Wyk is 3-7 at No. 1.
- In doubles play, Galloway and Van Wyk are 5-5 at No. 1 and Heffron and Jackson Keith are 5-5 with a 4-4 record at No. 2. Jack Seiffert and Tom Wood are 0-4 at No. 3.
- UNCG has won two straight over Wofford, including last season's 6-1 win in Greensboro. In that meeting, the Spartans swept doubles for the first time on the season and grabbed singles wins everywhere but at No. 5, where Wofford's Drew Superstein won in a super tiebreaker.
- UNCG -