Backed by wins in five of six singles matches, Appalachian State University men’s tennis earned a 5-2 win over Gardner-Webb on Thursday at Webb Tennis Complex. The win marked the third-straight for the
Mountaineers (3-2), while Gardner-Webb (2-6) is off to a rocky start in its non-conference season.
Following ASU’s success against East Carolina, the Apps began the match with their revised doubles lineups. At No. 2 doubles, seniors
Alain Humblet (Montreal, Quebec/DE Mortagne) and Alex Markov (Pernik, Bulgaria/Hawai’i Pacific) found success with an 8-3 victory, but the Runnin’ Bulldogs were not easily dismissed.
Gardner-Webb pulled out 8-5 wins at both No. 1 and No. 3 doubles, earning the first point of the match.
In singles, however, the Black and Gold stole the show. After falling to four demanding opponents to start the year, No. 1 Mountaineer Markov picked up a straight-sets victory, 6-4, 6-4 for his first win of the season. Fellow senior Philip Kloc (Melbourne, Australia/Mentone Grammar) followed suit with a 6-4, 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles.
Sophomore Matt Saltsgaver (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) also notched a two-set win for the Apps, taking the No. 6 match, 6-3, 7-5. Appalachian’s Humblet stumbled in his first set but recovered well, winning his No. 3 match, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.
GWU’s final win of the day came at No. 5 singles, where senior Steve Karendal (Kernersville, N.C./Lees-McRae) dropped his second set but dominated the third, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. Gardner-Webb’s only singles win came in the No. 4 slot, as Roman Piftor scored the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ second match point, 7-5, 6-3. With five singles-matches wins, the Mountaineers clinched the 5-2 win for their third-straight victory.
Appalachian State continues action this weekend with a road trip to No. 74 ETSU on Saturday before hosting Belmont on Sunday at 11 a.m. at Deer Valley Racquet Club.
Photo Courtesy: Alain Humblet, by Meghan Gay, ASU Athletics