GREENVILLE, N.C.- The UNCG men’s tennis team started their road trip off on the right note with a 5-2 win over East Carolina Thursday at the ECU Tennis Complex.
The Spartans earned the doubles point with wins at the No.1 and No.2 doubles matches. James Dougherty (Melbourne, Australia) and Randy Phillips (Snellville, Ga./Brookwood) defeated Collin Roller and Mario Martinez 8-7 (7-5) at No. 1 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, Ahmet Sarioglu and Daniel Mack (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland) defeated Joran Villegen and Miles Holvoet 8-6. At No. 3 doubles, Nazhone Wilkins (Burnsville, Minn./Homeschooled) and Jimmy Roueche (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) fell to Patriek Wolterbeek and Nicolas Soriano 8-6.
With a 1-0 lead, UNCG went into singles play without Dougherty. At No. 1 singles, Villegen defeated Sarioglu 6-1, 6-2 to tie the match at 1-1.
Phillips gave the Spartans another point with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Martinez. At No. 3 singles, the first set between Gaston Murray (Lake Worth, Fla./Park Vista) and Damien Brenard required a tiebreaker, but Murray came out on top 7-6 (7-3) and then secured the point with a 6-3 set two victory.
Things were all tied at two after Daniel Mack fell to Soriano 6-2, 6-2 at No. 4 singles.
Yet, the Spartans had a strong showing from the bottom of the lineup as both Cameron Smith (Jamestown, N.C./Ragsdale)
and Wilkins earned wins at the No. 5 and No. 6 spots respectively. Smith defeated Blake Gregory in three sets. Smith took set one 6-0, but Gregory forced a third set with a 7-6 (7-3) set two win. Smith was able to lock down the match victory with a 6-3 set three win. Despite falling in the first set 6-3, Wilkins bounced back to take set two 7-5, and set three 6-3.
UNCG will get back to conference play this weekend as they travel to Furman and Wofford. The Spartans will take on the Paladins in Greenville, S.C., Saturday March 22 at 2 p.m. and battle the Terriers in Spartanburg, S.C. Sunday at 1 p.m.