Spartans win first-ever outright SoCon title; Wilkins matches wins record
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – No. 74 UNCG finished the regular season with a 7-0 win over Western Carolina at the Catamount Athletic Complex on Sunday, wrapping up a perfect Southern Conference record and winning the first outright regular-season SoCon title in school history. Redshirt junior Niltooli Wilkins won her 29th singles match of the season, matching the school record.
The Spartans finished the regular season with a 16-5 overall mark and a 10-0 SoCon record, winning their first SoCon title since 1999 and their first-ever outright title in the league.
UNCG cruised past the Catamounts, who finished the regular season 1-18 overall and 0-10 in league play.
The Spartans dropped just one game in doubles play. Kayla Gammie and Annette Rios opened things up with an 8-0 win over Sarah Walters and Taylor Casey at No. 3, and Wilkins and Dilara Yurtkuran clinched the point with an 8-0 win over Ainhoa Iglesias Diaz and Megan McLinden at No. 1.
Devon Sutherland and Alex Whitehead completed the doubles sweep at No. 2, beating Karen Jimenez and Katie Barry, 8-1.
In singles play, Sutherland downed Walters 6-1, 6-0 at No. 5 and Gammie beat Casey at No. 6 by an identical score. Whitehead then clinched the match at No. 2, crushing McLinden by a 6-0, 6-0 count.
Stephanie Falcon held Barry scoreless at No. 4, winning 6-0, 6-0, while Rios downed Jimenez at No. 3, 6-3, 6-1.
Wilkins capped the sweep with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Diaz at No. 1, pushing her record to 29-6 on the season and her winning streak to 19 matches. She equaled the single-season school record for wins set by Alejandra Guerra in 2009.
UNCG has won 11 of its last 12 matches heading into the SoCon Championship, which begins Thursday in Charleston, S.C. The top-seeded Spartans earned a first-round bye and will face the winner of Thursday's 8/9 match between Georgia Southern and Davidson on Friday at 8:30 a.m. on the campus of The Citadel. The semifinals and final will be hosted by College of Charleston.
UNCG 7, Western Carolina 0
1. Niltooli Wilkins (UNCG) def. Ainhoa Iglesias Díaz (WCU) 6-3, 6-0
2. Alex Whitehead (UNCG) def. Megan McLinden (WCU) 6-0, 6-0
3. Annette Rios (UNCG) def. Karen Jiménez (WCU) 6-3, 6-1
4. Stephanie Falcon (UNCG) def. Katie Barry (WCU) 6-0, 6-0
5. Devon Sutherland (UNCG) def. Sarah Walters (WCU) 6-1, 6-0
6. Kayla Gammie (UNCG) def. Taylor Casey (WCU) 6-1, 6-0
1. Niltooli Wilkins/Dilara Yurtkuran (UNCG) def. Ainhoa Iglesias Díaz/Megan McLinden (WCU) 8-0
2. Devon Sutherland/Alex Whitehead (UNCG) def. Karen Jiménez/Katie Barry (WCU) 8-1
3. Annette Rios/Kayla Gammie (UNCG) def. Sarah Walters/Taylor Casey (WCU) 8-0
UNCG 16-5, 10-0 SoCon
Western Carolina 1-18, 0-10 SoCon
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (5,6,2,4,3,1)
- UNCG -