Last weekend, the Spartans Men’s Tennis team took to Chattanooga, Tennessee to compete in the Southern Conference Championships. The match was hindered by rain and forced the Spartans to compete inside the Girl’s Preparatory School’s indoor courts. Inside, the Spartans found little luck. Competing against the Furman Paladins, the Spartans suffered defeat by a 4-2 loss.
The major difficulties for the Spartans occurred during their doubles portion of the competition. The Spartans were unable to defeat the Paladins at all during their three bout series, losing by a score of 6-2, 6-0, and 2-4. The Spartan pairs competing were Senior Daniel Mack and Sophomore Connor Thompson, Junior Warren Bryan and Sophomore Logan Walker, and lastly the two first year players, William Albright and Ian Melnik.
While the Spartans were unable to find victory in the doubles portion of the championships, they were able to chalk up two victories in the Singles competition. UNCG’s Connor Thompson was able to defeat Furman’s Adam Steryous in two of his three sets, falling initially 4-6 before finding himself up 6-3 and 6-2 in his following bouts with Adam. UNCG’s Senior Gaston Murray was also victorious in his bout against Furman’s Matt Browne. This win was an incredible way to see Gaston off, as this was his last time competing as a Spartan. Gaston dominated Matt in their singles portion, beating him 6-2 two times to lock in a win for the Spartans.
After competing in the Southern Conference championships and falling short to Furman, UNCG looks towards next season to build on some incredible talent they have in their underclassmen. The Spartans will leave the 2015-2016 with a season record of 9-13 overall, just two games under their 2014-2015 season where they finished 11-10.
Unfortunately for the Women’s team, they fared a similar fate when they traveled to Chattanooga to start their championship run. Although the matches were delayed thirty minutes due to lightning in the area, the women were able to finish their matches outside before the rain became an issue. The UNCG Spartan Women’s Tennis team competed against the hometown heroes, the Chattanooga Moc’s, in an attempt to move forward into the SoCon Championships Semifinals. While hopeful at first, the Women’s team was given a reality check after they suffered a 4-0 loss, unable to get a point in either the singles or doubles competition.
No matter who they faced, The Chattanooga Moc’s just seemed to have UNCG’s number. The Moc’s defeated all of their opponents, marking a clean sweep against the Spartans on their way to the SoCon Semifinals. They would later fall to Eastern Tennessee State in the Semifinals.
Notable Spartan losses came from the two Seniors Jamie Grinberg and Amy Ellis. These ladies fell short in their first set but were on the road to a victory before their match was cut short due to Chattanooga’s match clinching point prior to the completion of their bouts.
The Spartan losses in the doubles competition came from Soumeya Anane and Amy Ellis who fell to UTC’s Kayla Jones and Kelsey Coots 6-4, Sarah Swiderski and Blaine Boaz who fell to UTC’s Samantha Caswell and Katie Polk by way of 6-4, and lastly Masey DeMoss and Yasmin Franco, who were unable to complete their match against Alison Storie and Rachele Gazzola. The Spartans were up 5-3 before the match was called.
This loss propelled the Ladies Team to a final season record of 8-13, the second season in a row that the Lady Spartans only marked 8 wins on the season. The biggest obstacle the team faces moving forward into the 2016-2017 season is filling the shoes of their seniors who led the team this year. The Spartans will lose seniors’ Amy Ellis, Jamie Grinberg, and Soumeya Anane. Thankfully, the Spartans have plenty of young talent to develop over the years and will try to build a championship contending team next season.