Spartans put win streak on the line at Charlotte on Wednesday
UNCG (12-4) at Charlotte (13-3), April 4, 3 p.m., Charlotte, N.C.
- UNCG's women's tennis team steps out of conference but puts its seven-match winning streak on the line when it heads to Charlotte, N.C., to take on the 13-3 Charlotte 49ers on Wednesday.
- Wednesday's match will be Charlotte's Senior Day. It will be the final home match for Andrea Rivera, the 49ers' lone senior.
- The Spartans have won seven straight matches, all in league play. UNCG topped Wofford and Furman over the weekend to move into sole possession of first place in the SoCon standings. UNCG and Furman came into the match with identical 6-0 conference records, but the Spartans took the 5-2 on Sunday.
- In the win over the Paladins, UNCG got wins at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles to take that point then got wins at Nos. 2, 6, 4 and 1, in that order, to take the match. Annette Rios clinched the match with a dramatic 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 win at No. 4 singles. She and Kayla Gammie also clinched the doubles point.
- Rios went 6-0 last week to earn her first career SoCon Player of the Week award. The junior from Santa Ana, El Salvador, was 3-0 in both singles and doubles. She has won five straight singles matches and she and Gammie have won 10 straight in doubles.
- Redshirt junior Niltooli Wilkins was named the SoCon Player of the Month on Tuesday. She was 9-0 in singles play in March and teamed with Lucy Dougherty to go 7-2 in doubles. The league's player of the week on March 27, Wilkins was named the league's player of the month for the second straight month and fourth time in her career.
- Wilkins paces UNCG with a 25-6 singles record and is 15-1 in dual play, all at No. 1. She has won 15 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. With 25 wins to her credit and at least six matches left on UNCG's schedule, Wilkins has a chance to surpass the school record of 29 set by Alejandra Guerra in 2009.
- Freshman Stephanie Falcon is second on the squad with a 22-7 record (11-5 dual), while Rios is 15-11 overall and 11-5 in duals and Devon Sutherland is 12-9 overall and 4-3 in dual play. Alex Whitehead has won four straight to move over .500 at 13-12 overall (8-6 dual), while Dougherty is 12-13 overall (8-6 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 20-9 with an 11-4 dual mark. Whitehead and Sutherland are 10-1 together at No. 2 with eight straight wins, while Gammie and Rios are 14-3 with a 12-1 dual mark, mostly at No. 3, and have won 10 straight.
- UNCG has won the doubles point in 14 straight matches with seven sweeps in that span.
- UNCG is 7-1 at home this year with a 3-0 mark at the UNCG Tennis Courts and a 4-1 mark at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center. The Spartans are 6-3 outside of Greensboro and 6-2 in true road matches.
- UNCG has yet to win a 4-3 match this season. The Spartans have lost twice by that count but all 12 of their wins have come by 5-2 scores or better.
- Charlotte has lost two of its last three after a five-match winning streak and suffered its first home loss of the season Monday against Gardner-Webb, which beat the 49ers 4-3 despite having players retire at No. 3 doubles and No. 1 singles. The 49ers were playing without the services of No. 1 singles player Alexandra Zinn. Four of the singles matches went to three sets.
- Charlotte is 9-1 at home this season, including four fall matches against Division II opponents.
- UNCG and Charlotte have had four common opponents this season in UNC Asheville, Gardner-Webb, Wofford and Davidson. UNCG defeated all four of them, while Charlotte beat UNCA, Wofford and Davidson.
- Natsuko Takayanagi leads the 49ers with a 19-5 singles mark, including a 13-3 dual record. She is 11-2 at No. 3. Iveta Guneva (14-5) and Rivera (14-6) are next in terms of singles wins. Zinn is 8-10 on the season with an 8-5 mark at No. 1.
- Anna Ekelund and Lisa Grosselius are 17-1 together in doubles play, including a 13-1 mark at No. 2. Rivera and Zinn are 14-4 together with an 11-3 record at No. 1. Takayanagi and Dominica Nemec are 12-9 with a 9-5 mark at No. 3.
- The Spartans topped Charlotte 6-1 on March 26 of last season at Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center.
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