UNCG vs. Tennessee Tech, Jan. 28, 2 p.m., Memphis, Tenn.
UNCG at No. 46 Memphis, Jan. 29, 10 a.m., Memphis, Tenn.
- UNCG's men's tennis team opens its spring dual campaign this weekend with a pair of matches in Memphis, Tenn. The Spartans will take on Tennessee Tech on Saturday followed by a match at No. 46 Memphis on Sunday.
- The Spartans are coming off a season in which they went 15-6 overall and 8-2 in Southern Conference play, good for their third straight third-place league finish. Orcun Seyrek took first-team All-SoCon honors in singles for the third straight season, adding first-team honors in doubles for the second straight year. Ahmet Sarioglu and Chanon Varapongsittikul earned spots on the SoCon All-Freshman Team, while Sarioglu was a second-team all-conference selection at No. 4 singles.
- Seyrek enters the spring season ranked 11th in singles in the Carolinas Region by the ITA. A two-time SoCon Player of the Week last season, Seyrek was 20-11 in singles last year, marking his third straight season with 20+ singles wins.
- Freshmen Sarioglu and Varapongsittikul led the team in singles wins, with Sarioglu turning in a 23-9 record that included a 16-5 dual mark. Varapongsittikul was 21-11 and owned a 14-7 dual mark. The duo also paired for doubles, turning in a 9-7 overall mark and a 7-6 dual mark, all at No. 3.
- Senior Jacob Wright returns to the team after focusing on his vocal performance major in the fall. Wright was half of UNCG's most successful doubles duo last season, pairing with Yaroslav Litus to go 16-8 overall and 11-7 in dual matches.
- Sophomore Jimmy Roueche will see his first dual action after sitting out the spring campaign last year.
- The Spartans added freshman Cameron Smith this semester. The local product from Jamestown, N.C., was a two-time Mid-Piedmont 3-A Player of the Year for Ragsdale High School.
- UNCG participated in four fall tournaments, starting with its own UNCG Fall Invitational. Varapongsittikul and freshman Randy Phillips won the B doubles flight championship, while Sarioglu bounced back after an opening-round loss to take the A1 singles consolation final.
- UNCG also sent individuals to the Elon Invitational and the ITA All-American Championships (Tulsa, Okla.) before closing out the fall slate by sending the full team to the USTA/ITA Regional Championships (Chapel Hill, N.C.).
- Sarioglu led UNCG with a 6-3 singles mark in the fall, while Phillips and Varapongsittikul posted a team-best 4-1 doubles mark.
- Tennessee Tech opened its dual season with 6-1 losses to No. 71 Radford and Chattanooga, both in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Golden Eagles swept through three close doubles matches against the Highlanders before Radford took all six singles matches. Against the Mocs, TUU picked up only a singles win at No. 6 from Vasily Eremeev. Chattanooga won three singles bouts in three sets.
- The Golden Eagles will face Memphis on Friday before taking on UNCG the following day.
- Tennessee Tech's roster features a trio of All-Ohio Valley Conference performers in senior Alex Chen (first team 2010, second team 2011), sophomore Vasily Emereev (second team 2011) and the 2009 OVC Freshman of the Year, Justin Kirstein (second team, 2009 and 2011).
- Last season, TTU went 9-9 overall with a 5-2 OVC mark.
- Then-unranked Memphis opened its spring campaign with a 4-3 win over No. 13 Tennessee on Jan. 20. The Tigers dropped the doubles point but rallied for four singles wins, including wins over ranked opponents by Joe Salisbury at No. 3 and Leon Nasemann at No. 6. Salisbury's win in a third-set tie-break clinched the victory over the Vols.
- The ITA ranks 75 men's tennis teams, and Memphis' debut at No. 46 marked the best ranking for a previously unranked team in the latest rankings.
- The Tigers' David O'Hare is ranked No. 50 in singles by the ITA, while O'Hare and Salisbury are ranked No. 47 in doubles.
- Memphis went 16-10 overall and 4-3 in Conference USA last season.
- UNCG -