UNCG tops Furman to take over sole possession of first in SoCon
For video of UNCG coach Jeff Trivette's post-match comments, click here.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG took over sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference with an intense 5-2 win over Furman on Sunday at the UNCG Tennis Courts in a showdown between league leaders.
The Spartans (12-4, 7-0 SoCon) and Paladins (11-8, 6-1 SoCon) came into Sunday's match with identical 6-0 SoCon records, but UNCG gutted out the win to pass a crucial midseason test in its bid for a league title.
With the match tied at 2 and the outcome still very much in doubt, UNCG's Stephanie Falcon pulled out a 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) win over Amanda Murray at No. 6 as the Spartans inched closer to the win.
Nos. 1 and 4 singles were each in third sets at the point, and Annette Rios completed her comeback from a first-set loss to defeat Margaret Boyette 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 at No. 4 to clinch the match.
Niltooli Wilkins then punctuated the team victory with a comeback win of her own, finishing off a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over Lauren Kline at No. 1 for the final margin. The win was Wilkins' 15th straight and team-leading 25th of the year as she continues her quest for the school record of 29.
Also in singles play, Furman's Katherine Oudin picked up a 6-4, 6-2 win over Dilara Yurtkuran at No. 3 to draw the Paladins even in the early going. Alex Moreno-Kaste grabbed a 6-4, 6-4 win over Lucy Dougherty at No. 5 to put Furman on top 2-1, but that was to be its last lead of the day.
Alex Whitehead finished off her 7-6 (7-4), 6-2 win over Michele Stanford at No. 2 to knot the match, and the Spartans won out from there.
UNCG started by winning the doubles point for the 14th straight match. Whitehead and Devon Sutherland won their eighth straight match at No. 2, cruising past Boyette and Oudin, 8-1. Rios and Kayla Gammie clinched the match with their 10th straight win, picking up an 8-4 decision over Kline and Kelly Sullivan at No. 3.
Both UNCG duos moved to 7-0 in league play.
Furman avoided the sweep in a tiebreaker at No. 1, with Moreno-Kaste and Stanford dropping Dougherty and Wilkins 8-7 (7-4).
UNCG steps out of conference to face Charlotte on the road Wednesday at 3 p.m. before returning home Saturday to host another tough SoCon foe in No. 60 College of Charleston, which topped Davidson on Sunday to move to 6-0 in the league.
UNCG 5, Furman 2
1. Niltooli Wilkins (UNCG) def. Lauren Kline (FUR) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
2. Alex Whitehead (UNCG) def. Michele Stanford (FUR) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
3. Katherine Oudin (FUR) def. Dilara Yurtkuran (UNCG) 6-4, 6-2
4. Annette Rios (UNCG) def. Margaret Boyette (FUR) 2-6, 6-2, 7-5
5. Alex Moreno-Kaste (FUR) def. Lucy Dougherty (UNCG) 6-4, 6-4
6. Stephanie Falcon (UNCG) def. Amanda Murray (FUR) 6-4, 7-6 (7-3)
1. Alex Moreno-Kaste/Michele Stanford (FUR) def. Lucy Dougherty/Niltooli Wilkins (UNCG) 8-7 (7-4)
2. Devon Sutherland/Alex Whitehead (UNCG) def. Margaret Boyette/Katherine Oudin (FUR) 8-1
3. Kayla Gammie/Annette Rios (UNCG) def. Lauren Kline/Kelly Sullivan (FUR) 8-4
Furman 11-8, 6-1 SoCon
UNCG 12-4, 7-0 SoCon
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,5,2,6,4,1)
- UNCG -