Picking up the team’s fourth-straight win, Appalachian State University men’s tennis dominated its Southern Conference match against The Citadel, 7-0, at ASU Tennis Courts on Thursday. The Mountaineers (10-5, 4-1 SoCon) picked
up their fourth league win in the span of a week, while The Citadel (5-14, 0-7 SoCon) was dismissed still in need of a conference victory.
In doubles, Appalachian’s No. 1 pair of senior Philip Kloc (Melbourne, Australia/Mentone Grammar) and sophomore Sebastien King (Montreal< Quebec/George Vanier) broke their opponents’ serve in the first game and won the last five in a row to close out an 8-2 win. ASU’s No. 3 duo of junior Zeke Sansing (Memphis, Tenn./White Station) and senior Steve Karendal (Kernersville, N.C./Lees-McRae) clinched the doubles point after jumping out to a 6-2 lead and holding on to an 8-3 win.
The No. 2 tandem of seniors Alex Markov (Pernik, Bulgaria/Hawai’i Pacific) and Alain Humblet (Montreal, Quebec/DE Mortagne) fell behind by a 1-4 margin but rallied by winning the last four games of their 8-5 victory. In singles action, Humblet routed his opponent at No. 3, picking up a 6-0, 6-0 shutout in the match. Karendal soon followed with a 6-1, 6-3 victory at the No. 5 spot to put the Apps in front, 3-0.
No. 2 Mountaineer Kloc took the honor of the match-clinching point by picked up a 6-1, 6-1 triumph in his match. King needed more time to close his match but pulled out a 6-1, 6-0 trouncing at No. 4 singles. Sophomore Matt Saltsgaver (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) added another point for the Black and Gold after cruising through his first set and staying strong in the second of his 6-1, 6-4 victory.
The No. 1 singles match saw junior David Orces pick up The Citadel’s only set, 6-3, in the first, but ASU’s top individual, Markov, answered with a 6-3 win of his own in the second set.
In the tiebreaker, Markov converted six straight points to jump out to an 8-3 lead before Orces scored five in a row to morph a 9-4 deficit into a 9-9 deadlock. After the court change, Markov closed out the match with enthusiasm to earn a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, 1-0(11-9) win.
The Mountaineers continue SoCon action with a trip to UNCG at noon on Saturday. The Apps take their final roadtrip to Presbyterian on Tuesday before returning home on Wednesday to host Wofford in the first duel of a four-match, season-ending homestand.
Photo Courtesy: Alain Humblet, ASU Athletics