Sebastien King earned the match-clinching point as Appalachian State University mens tennis rallied past No. 5 Samford by a 4-2 final in the quarterfinals of the
Southern Conference Tournament on Thursday as the Champions Club.
The Mountaineers (10-12) fell behind early as the Bulldogs (8-10) earned the doubles point thanks to wins at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles. Appalachians No. 3 tandem of Steve Lake/Jack Maddocks earned an 8-7 (7-2) win to improve to 6-5 on the season.
In singles play, App State was able to tie the contest at 1-1 when Maddocks dispatched Liam Sullivan by a 6-1, 6-1 final at the No. 5 spot. Samford was able to pull back in front when Trey Carter defeated Daniel Hoang at No. 4 (7-6 [7-5], 6-1).
That would be the final time the Bulldogs would score a point as Appalachian stormed back to win three-straight singles contests. Zach Bost got the ball rolling with a 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 win at No. 3 before Jan-Willem Kleynhans gave the Mountaineers a 3-2 lead with a thrilling win at No. 6 (7-6 [10-8], 7-6 [7-5]).
King sealed the deal at No. 1 singles as he won in three sets. After dropping the first set by a 6-2 final, the senior crushed Elliot Barnwell in the final two sets by scores of 6-2, 6-1 to send Appalachian to the semifinals for the second time in the past three years.
With the win, the Mountaineers will take on No. 1 Elon (17-4) at 10 a.m. on Friday for a spot in the 2014 SoCon Tournament title match. The Phoenix went a perfect 9-0 in league play during the year and entered the week ranked No. 54 in the latest ITA rankings.
Appalachian State 4, Samford 2
Apr 17, 2014 at Chattanooga, Tenn. (Champions Club)
1. Sebastien King (APP) def. Elliot Barnwell (SAM-MT) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
2. Oliver Casey (APP) vs. Fares Kilani (SAM-MT) 6-1, 5-7, unfinished
3. Zach Bost (APP) def. Austin Akers (SAM-MT) 7-6 (7-1), 6-3
4. Trey Carter (SAM-MT) def. Daniel Hoang (APP) 7-6 (7-5), 6-1
5. Jack Maddocks (APP) def. Liam Sullivan (SAM-MT) 6-1, 6-1
6. Jan-Willem Kleynhans (APP) def. Henry Moore (SAM-MT) 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-5)
1. Elliot Barnwell/Trey Carter (SAM-MT) def. Zach Bost/Sebastien King (APP) 8-3
2. Austin Akers/Fares Kilani (SAM-MT) def. Oliver Casey/Daniel Hoang (APP) 8-5
3. Steve Lake/Jack Maddocks (APP) def. Liam Sullivan/Henry Moore (SAM-MT) 8-7 (7-2)
Appalachian State 10-12
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (5,4,3,6,1)
Photo Courtesy: Sebastien King, App State Athletics