By Brandon Boyer, Staff Writer
Published in print Oct. 1, 2014
The Spartans’ men’s tennis team took their wit and individual will power down the road this weekend, to play in the Elon Invitational, hosted by UNC-Greensboro’s former Southern Conference rival, Elon University.
Fellow invites included UNC-Asheville, Georgia Southern, Coastal Carolina, Campbell University, Norfolk State, James Madison, East Carolina, North Carolina Central, Old Dominion and of course the hosts, Elon.
UNCG took eight Singles competitors, as the tournament was dominated in the A1 and C1 singles by senior Randy Phillips and freshman Logan Walker, respectively.
Phillips showed an utter command of the court, controlling the pace of the match-ups on day one and two, winning in straight sets against East Carolina’s Ross Nigro (6-3, 6-3), Costal Carolina’s Phillipe Tsargarides (6-3, 6-3) and Old Dominion’s Michael Weindl (6-2, 6-3).
Weindl of Germany was ranked 77th in the nation prior to his loss at the hands of Phillips in straight sets.
However, Phillips run of dominance came to an abrupt end in the final on Sunday. Playing against Old Dominion’s Adam Moundir, Phillips won the first set 7-6 (10-8), but lost in the subsequent sets 6-7 (4-7), and 4-6.
With his loss in the final, Phillips moves to five wins and two losses in Singles play.
Logan Walker started off in the C1 flight on day two with a loss to Coastal Carolina’s Renan Samed (1-6, 2-6), but made up for it with sheer dominance in straight sets against North Carolina Central’s Kyle Hairston (6-0, 6-1).
Walker’s opponent, Samed of Coastal Carolina, would go on to win the C1 Singles final.
Since Walker was moved into the loser’s bracket after his loss to Samed, correctly known as the “backdraw bracket,” Walker went on to close up shop against Georgia Southern’s Pradeep Raja in straight sets, winning 6-4 and 6-1.
In the doubles competition, which began on Saturday, doubles pair Cameron Smith and William Albright swept their opponents with ease, going 2-0 on Saturday.
The Smith and Albright pairing defeated Elon’s Lindgren and Geaslen 8-7 (7-3) and Norfolk State’s Domink and Braga 8-4.
UNCG’s other double’s pairings were not so lucky on Saturday, with Victor Marum and Nazhone Wilkins winning their first match, but losing in the semifinals to Campbell’s Billington and Rossignon, 8-5.
Connor Thompson and Logan Walker lost their first match, but came back to win in the backdraw against Campbell’s Schwab and Rogers to reach the backdraw finals.
Randy Phillips’ singles domination did not carry over to the doubles competition, with him and his partner Warren Bryan falling to Asheville’s Landau and Croker 8-4.
Smith and Albright took home the B1 doubles title over the pairing of Billington and Rossignon of Campbell in a fairly dominant performance, 8-3.
Thompson and Walker finished sixth in the B2 Backdraw bracket, with Phillips and Bryan closing out the Spartans doubles competition in eight place.
Men’s tennis head coach, Thomas Mozur, thought the weekend was a good stretch for the Spartans as their invitational schedule moves into full swing.
“This was a breakthrough weekend,” said Coach Mozur to UNCGSpartans.com. “We have a lot to be proud of this weekend. The hard work is paying odd and we are looking forward to getting back to work on Tuesday.”
The Spartans have three more fall tournaments they will compete in to prepare for the Spring season, with the Wake Forest Invitational, ITA Carolina Regionals, and Winthrop Invitational all coming up throughout the month of October.