No. 4 seed UNCG heads to SoCon Men's Tennis Championship
UNCG at the Southern Conference Championship, April 20-22, Charleston, S.C.
Live stats: UNCGSpartans.com (via SoConSports.com)
- UNCG's fourth-seeded men's tennis team will begin its quest for the second Southern Conference Championship title in school history when it takes on No. 5 seed Furman in the quarterfinals of the tournament on Friday.
- The Spartans are 9-12 overall and went 6-4 in league play this season to earn the fourth seed and a first-round bye. Furman is 8-14-1 overall and went 5-4-1 in the SoCon, also earning a bye. The teams will meet at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
- The tournament is being co-hosted by College of Charleston and The Citadel. Thursday's first round will take place on The Citadel's campus, while the remaining three days will be at the College of Charleston Tennis Center.
- UNCG and Furman met in last season's quarterfinals, as well, with the Paladins taking a 4-1 win. Ahmet Sarioglu picked up the Spartans' lone point on the day, winning at No. 4 singles. Jacob Wright and Yaroslav Litus won at No. 2 doubles.
- UNCG last won the SoCon tournament in 2010, beating Furman in the semifinals and Elon in the final for the Spartans' first-ever NCAA bid. The Spartans went on to fall to 12th-ranked Georgia in the NCAA first round.
- The Spartans are 5-13 all-time in the SoCon Championship, including a 1-2 mark against Furman. The teams will be meeting in the tournament for the fourth straight season.
- UNCG is led by SoCon Player of the Year Orcun Seyrek, who earned the award for the second time in his career. The senior from Istanbul, Turkey, also took the honor in 2009, when he was the player and freshman of the year in the league. In taking All-SoCon honors in singles and doubles, he became just the fourth player in league history to earn first-team singles honors four times and first-team doubles accolades at least three times. He is just the second player to earn first-team doubles honors with three different players.
- In addition to taking first-team doubles honors with Seyrek, Sarioglu was a second-team singles honoree at No. 2. Sarioglu, a sophomore, was a second-team selection in singles for the second straight year. Randy Phillips earned SoCon All-Freshman Team honors.
- UNCG dropped a 4-3 decision at Campbell to end the regular season on Saturday, losing consecutive contests for the first time since mid-February. Prior to the loss to the Camels, UNCG had alternated wins and losses over its last 15 matches. The Spartans' last six contests have been decided by 4-3 scores.
- In singles play, Sarioglu leads UNCG with a 21-9 mark on the season and is 15-6 in dual play, all at No. 2. Seyrek is 19-9 overall (16-5 dual at No. 1) and needs just one more win to reach 20 for the fourth straight season. He went a perfect 10-0 in SoCon play. Phillips is also in double digits in wins with a 15-15 record, including an 11-9 mark at No. 4.
- In doubles play, Phillips and Chanon Varapongsittikul are a team-best 16-10 with a 12-9 mark at No. 2. Sarioglu and Seyrek are 15-10 with a 13-8 mark at No. 1 and Cameron Smith and Jimmy Roueche are 5-16 at No. 3.
- UNCG has won the doubles point just nine times in 21 tries this season. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Spartans have won their last four matches when they've won the doubles point and lost the last five in which they dropped the doubles point.
- Furman dropped a 4-3 decision to Wofford in its regular-season finale, getting wins from Andrew Mellow and Alex Christ at the top of the singles lineup after winning the doubles point. A win would have given the Paladins the 4 seed and bumped UNCG down to 5, but the teams would have met in the quarterfinals regardless.
- Mellow, who earned first-team All-SoCon honors, leads Furman with a 12-10 singles mark in dual play, all at No. 1. Tyler Droll is 11-7 with an 8-4 record at No. 6, and Christ is 10-8, including a 9-8 mark at No. 2.
- The Paladins have also struggled in doubles play. Droll and Mellow lead the team with an 8-2 record (6-2 at No. 2), but no other tandem that has played more than one match together has a winning record. Christ and Joel Cook are 6-13 (4-12 at No. 1) and Nate Collins and Watson George are 2-10 with a 2-7 record at No. 3.
- UNCG topped Furman during the regular season, earning a 5-2 win in Greenville, S.C., on March 23. UNCG got wins at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles to clinch that point then saw Seyrek, Sarioglu and Smith win in singles play. Seyrek topped Mellow, who was ranked No. 110, in three sets at No. 1.
- The UNCG-Furman winner will advance to face the winner of Friday's match between top-seeded College of Charleston (15-4, 9-1 SoCon) and either No. 8 seed Chattanooga (13-8, 4-6 SoCon) or No. 9 seed Davidson (7-13, 3-7 SoCon).
SoCon Championship schedule
Thursday, April 19 (O. Perry Earle, Jr. Tennis Center, Charleston, S.C.)
Match 1: #8 Chattanooga vs. #9 Davidson, 11:30 a.m.
Match 2: #7 Wofford vs. #10 Georgia Southern, 1:30 p.m.
Match 3: #6 Elon vs. #11 The Citadel, 4 p.m.
Friday, April 20 (College of Charleston Tennis Center, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)
Match 4: #1 College of Charleston vs. Winner Match 1, 8:30 a.m.
Match 5: #4 UNCG vs. #5 Furman, 10:30 a.m.
Match 6: #2 Samford vs. Winner Match 2, 1 p.m.
Match 7: #3 Appalachian State vs. Winner Match 3, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 21 (College of Charleston Tennis Center, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)
Match 8: Winner Match 4 vs. Winner Match 5, 8:30 a.m.
Match 9: Winner Match 6 vs. Winner Match 7, 10:30 a.m.
Sunday, April 22 (College of Charleston Tennis Center, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)
Match 10: Winner Match 8 vs. Winner Match 9, 10 a.m.
- UNCG -