No. 4 seed UNCG Kicks Off SoCon Women's Tennis title Quest Friday
2013 SoCon Championship Brackets
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG's fourth-seeded women's tennis program hopes to return to the Southern Conference Championship final as they face No. 5 seed Appalachian State in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Friday, April 19.
"It has been our goal this season to win the conference tournament," said head coach Jeff Trivette. "We have put in the time and hard work and we are ready to compete this weekend. It is my hope that we will have a chance to play for the title on Sunday."
The Spartans are 13-6 overall and went 8-2 in league play this season to earn the fourth seed and a first-round bye. Appalachian State is 14-8 overall and went 6-4 in the SoCon, also earning a bye. The teams will meet at 9 a.m. Friday.
The tournament is being hosted by Elon. Thursday's first round will take place at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center on the Campus of Elon University, while Friday's matches will be held at the Burlington Tennis Center. Saturday's semifinals and Sunday's Championship match will be at Elon University.
UNCG is led by senior Niltooli Wilkins (Burnsville, Minn./Homeschooled) who has a 23-10 overall with a 12-6 dual mark that includes a solid 7-3 record in conference play. Wilkins picked up first team honors for the third-straight season in both singles and doubles, while playing all her matches at No. 1 singles. In doubles, partnering with classmate Alex Whitehead (Victoria, Australia/Star of the Sea College), they had a 9-1 record against league foes.
Also earning postseason awards were senior Annette Rios (Santa Ana, El Salvador/Liceo Latinoamericano) and sophomore Kayla Gammie (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Broward Virtual School) for second team No. 2 doubles. They finished the regular season with a 10-7 overall record, including a 7-1 mark against league opponents. It marks the second-straight season the doubles pair have earned all-conference accolades.
Senior Ellie Linsell leads the Mountaineers from the No. 1 position, while teammate Clare Cox posted seven conference wins in the No. 2 slot. Brianna Armellino rounds out the top half of Appalachian's lineup at No. 3.
Senior veteran Jennifer Ansari holds the No. 4 position, while Jessica Thaggard picked up seven league wins at No. 5. Gabriela Celi completes the singles lineup, earning an 8-1 SoCon mark in the sixth position.
Appalachian's doubles lineup includes No. 1 pair Linsell and Mackenzie LaSure, along with the No. 2 tandem of Ansari and Cox.
UNCG is 1-0 against Appalachian since 1998, when the tournament changed from an individual to a team format.
The Spartans defeated the Mountaineers, 5-2, back on April 2 at the UNCG tennis courts with wins coming from No. 1, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 in the singles lineup.
The UNCG-Appalachian State winner will advance to face the winner of Friday's match between top-seeded College of Charleston and either No. 8 seed Samford or No. 9 seed Davidson.