UNCG hosts Elon on Tuesday with share of SoCon title on the line

UNCGSpartans.com 04-08-2012
Courtesy: UNCGSpartans.com

UNCG (14-4, 8-0 SoCon) vs. Elon (15-7 5-4 SoCon), April 10, 2 p.m., UNCG Tennis Courts


- UNCG's women's tennis team will host rival Elon at the UNCG Tennis Courts on Tuesday with a chance to clinch at least a share of the regular-season Southern Conference title and the top seed in the upcoming league tournament. The match will be the Spartans' final home contest of the season.

- The Spartans enter play Tuesday at 8-0 in the SoCon, so a win over the Phoenix would assure UNCG of finishing no worse than 9-1 in the league and a share of the league title. The only teams that could catch UNCG are either Furman or College of Charleston, who each have just one loss but face each other Wednesday. The Spartans would hold the tiebreaker for the top seed in the conference tournament regardless of who wins the Wednesday match, as UNCG has beaten CofC and Furman in each of the last two weekends.

- UNCG controls its own destiny as it seeks its first SoCon title since 1999 and its first-ever outright SoCon title. The Spartans shared the regular-season crown with Furman in 1999, when both squads went 8-1. UNCG was the top seed in the tournament that year, as it handed the Paladins their lone league loss to take the tiebreaker.

- The Spartans have won nine straight matches, with eight of those coming in league play. UNCG topped No. 61 College of Charleston on Saturday, 5-2. Niltooli Wilkins clinched the match at No. 1 singles, while Dilara Yurtkuran, Annette Rios and Stephanie Falcon also picked up singles wins. The Spartans claimed the doubles point for the 16th straight match, getting wins from Wilkins and Lucy Dougherty at No. 1 and Rios and Kayla Gammie at No. 3.

- UNCG's win over CofC was historic on several levels. In addition to snapping CofC's 14-match winning streak and UNCG's 19-match losing streak to the Cougars – which dated back to 1999 – the Spartans' win snapped CofC's 36-match winning streak (29 straight in the regular season) against SoCon opponents that dated back to 2009.

- Wilkins paces UNCG with a 26-6 singles record and is 16-1 in dual play, all at No. 1. She has won 16 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 26 wins to her credit and at least four matches left on UNCG's schedule, Wilkins has a chance to surpass the school record of 29 set by Alejandra Guerra in 2009.

- Falcon, a freshman, is second on the squad with a 24-7 record (13-5 dual), while Rios is 16-12 overall and 12-6 in duals and Devon Sutherland is 13-9 overall and 6-3 in dual play. Alex Whitehead is 14-13 overall (9-7 dual), while 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 21-9 with a 12-4 dual mark. Whitehead and Sutherland are 11-2 together (10-2 at No. 2) and had won nine straight before falling 9-8 (7-3) Saturday against CofC. Gammie and Rios are 16-3 with a 14-1 dual mark, mostly at No. 3, and have won 12 straight.

- UNCG is 7-1 at home this year with a 4-0 mark at the UNCG Tennis Courts and a 3-1 mark at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center. The Spartans are 7-3 outside of Greensboro and 7-2 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 14 of their wins have come by 5-2 scores or better.

- Elon brings a 5-4 SoCon record into Tuesday's match but is a very dangerous squad. All four of the Phoenix's league losses have come by 4-3 scores, including contests against CofC and Furman. Overall, Elon is 15-7 with four losses to ranked foes (No. 4 North Carolina, No. 60 Virginia Tech, No. 63 UNCW and No. 61 College of Charleston).

- Elon and UNCG both opened their 2012 spring campaigns at fourth-ranked North Carolina on Jan. 18, each falling 7-0. The Phoenix's Frida Jansaker and Jordan Johnston upset the Tar Heels' 43rd-ranked De Bruycker and Laura Slater at No. 1 doubles.

- The Phoenix wrapped up a five-match homestand with a 6-1 win over North Carolina Central on Saturday. Elon swept doubles and won every singles flight except No. 2.

- Jansaker is a team-best 15-4 in singles play this spring with an 8-1 dual mark and has played everywhere from No. 2 to No. 5. Viviana Stavreva is 14-6 with a 6-3 league record, while Maria Camara Ruiz is 13-5 with a 7-2 league mark and Johnston is 13-6 and 7-2 in the SoCon, all at No. 1. Barbora Lazarova is 11-10 overall to give the Phoenix five regulars with at least 10 wins.

- Jansaker and Johnston are 18-2 in dual play this spring, including an 8-1 mark in SoCon play, to set up what should be an exciting match at No. 1 doubles against UNCG's Wilkins and Dougherty. Ruiz and Briana Berne are 11-5 together, mostly at No. 3.

- UNCG has won 11 of the past 14 meetings between the schools, including a 5-2 road victory last season. The Spartans swept doubles play and picked up wins at Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 6 singles. Elon won by the same score to close out SoCon play for both squads at the end of the 2010 season.

- UNCG -

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