MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - UNC Greensboro's Orcun Seyrek tied a school record with his 27th win of the season as the third-seeded Spartans earned a spot in the Southern Conference men's tennis championship match with a 4-1 win over second-seeded Furman at Patriots Point on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, UNCG will face fourth-seeded Elon, which upended top-seeded and nationally-ranked College of Charleston, 4-3, in the first match of the day. That match will get underway at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Seyrek, a sophomore from Istanbul, Turkey, won for the 18th time in his last 19 singles matches and tied Alex Lenhoff's record for wins in a season, set in 1997. For the second time in eight days, he topped Sawyer Duncan, this time by a 6-4, 6-3 score. The win gave Seyrek a 27-5 mark for the season and lifted UNCG to a 2-1 lead in the match.
Arsel Kumdereli and Timion Meijs followed with straight set wins to put UNCG one step closer to what could be its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid. Kumdereli handled Chris Motes, 6-4 and 6-3, at No. 2 singles, while Meijs ran his record to 23-9 this season with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Andrew Mellow at No. 5 singles.
UNCG, which dropped a 5-2 decision at Furman a week earlier to close out the regular season, escaped with an early 1-0 lead when Yaroslav Litus and Jacob Wright won at No. 3 in a tiebreaker. They topped Andrew Mellow and Carl Lundberg, 9-8, with a 7-5 score in the breaker. Furman (12-11) tied the score with a win by Carl Lundberg at No. 3 singles, before Seyrek, Meijs and Kumdereli won in succession to send the Spartans to their first conference final since 1994.
UNCG was making its second straight semifinal round appearance. The Spartans hadn't been to a semifinal prior to last year since 2002. UNCG's last title match appearance came in the Big South Tournament in 1994, falling to Coastal Carolina. The school's last conference title in men's tennis came in 1988 as a Division III school in what was then the Dixie Conference - now known as USA South. The Spartans won five titles as a member of the Dixie Conference.
The Spartans, 16-5 overall, beat Elon during the regular season, 4-3, back on March 31. It was the Spartans' first win over the Phoenix (9-13) since 2005. Elon will be making its fourth consecutive title match appearance, having won in 2007 and lost in 2008 and 2009.
UNC Greensboro 4, Furman 1
1. Orcun Seyrek (UNCG) def. Sawyer Duncan (FUR) 6-4, 6-3
2. Arsel Kumdereli (UNCG) def. Chris Motes (FUR) 6-4, 6-3
3. Carl Lundberg (FUR) def. Jacob Wright (UNCG) 6-1, 6-3
4. Jordan Walters (FUR) vs. Yaroslav Litus (UNCG) 6-4, 5-3, unfinished
5. Timion Meijs (UNCG) def. Andrew Mellow (FUR) 7-5, 6-4
6. Tyler Droll (FUR) vs. Kyle Eddins (UNCG) 3-6, 6-2, 5-2, unfinished
1. Arsel Kumdereli/Orcun Seyrek (UNCG) def. Sawyer Duncan/Chris Motes (FUR) 8-6
2. Andrei Chvetsov/Jordan Walters (FUR) vs. Timion Meijs/William John (UNCG) 8-3, unfinished
3. Yaroslav Litus/Jacob Wright (UNCG) def. Andrew Mellow/Carl Lundberg (FUR) 9-8 (7-5)