GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men’s tennis team opens the Southern Conference Championships with a first-round match against second-seeded Furman on Thursday, April 18th at 3 p.m. in Macon, Ga.
The seventh-seeded Spartans concluded the regular season with a 7-14 overall record, earning their lone league victory against The Citadel on March 4th. Meanwhile, Furman closed out the season with a 15-4 mark that included a 6-1 record in SoCon play.
The two teams last met on March 16th, where Furman emerged with a 6-1 victory in Greenville, S.C. Sophomore Ollie Palmer came through with the lone point for UNCG that day as he downed Furman’s Clark Wilson by scores of 7-6 (7-4), 6-4.
Palmer, along with teammates Nico Grewe and Hugh Knapp, recently drew recognition for his outstanding play in the SoCon this season. The trio were recognized by the league on Tuesday, April 16th. Grewe and Palmer were named Second Team All-SoCon in singles and as a doubles team, while Knapp garnered All-Freshman honors for the Spartans.
LAST MATCH FOR UNCG (vs. Chattanooga)
UNCG senior Ian Melnik capped off the final regular season match of his Spartan career with a 7-6, 7-5 victory over Chattanooga’s Pablo Llebeili on Saturday, April 13th at the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center.
Melnik, whose win came from the No. 6 seed, was one of the three Spartans to claim a singles win, along with Nico Grewe and Roger Rogowski. Chattanooga (13-10, 3-3 SoCon) opened the match by sweeping its way through doubles action. The tandem of Luke Plaisted / Llebeili snagged the first doubles win (6-3) against Cooper Wyett / Rogowski. The Mocs followed with a 6-2 victory by the tandem of Niklas Gerdes / Tomas Rodriguez, who downed Hugh Knapp / Jack Burkill.
The final Chattanooga win in doubles action came from the team of Kerim Hyatt / Simon Bustamante, who defeated Grewe / Ollie Palmer by a 6-3 margin. Rogowski tied the match at 1-1 when he claimed a 6-0, 6-3 victory against Plaisted in singles action. Grewe provided the Spartans with their first lead of the afternoon, 2-1, with a 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Rodriguez.
Bustamante evened the match with a 6-2, 7-5 victory in No. 5 singles over Burkill. Hyatt put Chattanooga within one point of the victory after a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) against Knapp. Melnik’s win in No. 6 singles action over Llebeili set the stage for the decisive match between Palmer and Gerdes. Gerdes rallied from an opening set loss to win a three-set clash between the No. 1 seeds by a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 final.