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Spartans head to Western Carolina looking for perfection

Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com
         
Release: April 13, 2012
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UNCG (15-5, 9-0 SoCon) at Western Carolina (1-17, 0-9 SoCon), April 15, 1 p.m., Cullowhee, N.C.

Storylines

- No. 74 UNCG will try to wrap up its first-ever outright Southern Conference regular-season title and an undefeated league record when it faces Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C., on Sunday in the regular-season finale for both squads.

- The Spartans saw their 10-match winning streak come to an end at UNCW on Friday, falling 4-3. UNCG won the doubles point for the 18th straight match, with Niltooli Wilkins and Dilara Yurtkuran winning at No. 1 and Devon Sutherland and Alex Whitehead winning at No. 2. In singles play, Wilkins won at No. 1 and Sutherland won at No. 6. The Seahawks clinched the win with a third-set tiebreaker win at No. 3.

- The Spartans jumped into the Campbell/ITA Women's Team Rankings on Tuesday. UNCG's ranking is its first since a two-week stay at No. 70 in March 2011.

- Wilkins paces UNCG with a 28-6 singles record and is 18-1 in dual play, all at No. 1. She has won 18 straight since opening the dual campaign with a 7-5, 7-5 loss to No. 44 Zoe De Bruycker of North Carolina on Jan. 18. Wilkins is one win shy of the school record of 29 set by Alejandra Guerra in 2009.

- Stephanie Falcon, a freshman, is second on the squad with a 24-9 record (13-7 dual), while Annette Rios is 17-13 overall and 13-7 in duals and Sutherland is 15-9 overall and 8-3 in dual play. Whitehead is 15-14 overall (10-8 dual), while Lucy Dougherty is 12-14 overall (8-7 dual) to give the Spartans six players in double digits in singles wins.

- In doubles play, Wilkins and Dougherty, who have been ranked as high as 40th nationally this season, are 21-10 with a 12-5 dual mark. Whitehead and Sutherland are 13-2 together (12-2 at No. 2) and Gammie and Rios are 17-4 with a 15-2 dual mark, mostly at No. 3. The duo saw its 13-match winning streak snapped at UNCW on Friday.

- UNCG finished 8-1 at home this year with a 5-0 mark at the UNCG Tennis Courts and a 3-1 mark at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center. The Spartans are 7-4 outside of Greensboro and 7-3 in true road matches.

- Western Carolina is 1-17 on the year, with its lone win coming over Division II Mars Hill on March 9. The Catamounts are 0-9 in league play.

- Sunday's match will be Western's third in as many days. The Catamounts fell 7-0 to Furman on Friday and 6-1 to Wofford on Saturday. WCU will be wrapping up a four-match homestand to finish the season.

- In the 6-1 loss to Wofford on Saturday, Ainhoa Iglesias Díaz won in a super tiebreaker at No. 1 singles for the Catamounts' lone point on the day.

- WCU has played with just five players in each of its last two matches, defaulting at No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles.

-  Karen Jimenez is a team-best 5-11 in singles play for Western, with a 3-5 mark at No. 2. Megan McLinden is second on the squad in wins with a 4-12 ledger, including an 0-6 record at No. 2. Diaz is 3-13 overall and is 2-11 at No. 1.

- As a team, WCU has won just four doubles matches on the season with one of those coming by default against Mars Hill. Diaz and McLinden are 1-10 at No. 1 and Jimenez and Katie Barry are 1-10 at No. 2.

- UNCG has won nine straight over the Catamounts since a 5-2 loss in the regular-season finale of the 2003 season. Since then, WCU has failed to score more than one point in any match against the Spartans, with four 7-0 UNCG wins in that span.

- The teams were both at the USTA/ITA Regional Championships in Chapel Hill, N.C., in October but no one from either team faced each other.

- UNCG -

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