Gardner-Webb Fights off Army in Singles Play, Splits Doubles at Army Men's Tennis Challenge -—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Poli (Londrina, Brazil) won a key match in singles play in the 4-3 win over Army and won three times in doubles play at the Army Challenge.
Courtesy: Saxon Simpson
Gardner-Webb Fights off Army in Singles Play, Splits Doubles at Army Men's Tennis Challenge
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: January 27, 2013
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West Point, N.Y. - The Runnin' Bulldogs earned a dramatic 4-3 win in singles play over the host Army Black Knights on Friday, kicking off the three-day Army Challenge in a great way.

GWU won four of seven singles matches to knock off Army on day one. Friday's singles-only competition between the two squads saw three matches go to a deciding third set.

Gardner-Webb won two of those, thanks to staunch efforts from sophomores Ernest Alberch and Joao Poli. Alberch (Torrello, Spain) outlasted Army's Caison Best at the No. 4 position, winning 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. Poli (Londrina, Brazil) rebounded from a first set setback to win 5-7, 7-6 (5), 10-5 in a close bout with the Black Knight's Ben Davies at No. 6 singles.

Junior Roman Piftor (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) grinded out a 7-5, 7-6 win over Peter Sienko at No. 2 singles, and freshman Benjamin Kaszás (Budapest, Hungary) picked up his first win as a Runnin' Bulldog by outlasting Harrison McCormick at No. 3 singles 7-5, 6-4.

The Runnin' Bulldogs found themselves in another heated affair on Friday, as the nightcap doubles-only match against Marist again came down to the wire. After a win for the Red Foxes at No. 3 doubles, Alberch and Poli combined for an 8-6 win over Marist's Klassen/Bishop pairing at No. 2 doubles to even the score at 1-1.

The match at No. 1 doubles went the way of the Red Foxes, as Marist earned a thrilling 8-7 (5) victory against the Runnin' Bulldogs' Adam Knutsson-Sundblad and Kaszás combo.

GWU also competed Army in doubles play, splitting the four matches played on day three. The Runnin' Bulldogs won at No. 3, getting a great effort from Piftor and sophomore Brendan Dempsey (Dublin, Ireland), who cruised past Army's tandem of Cacha/Jang-Milsten by an 8-2 score.

Poli teamed up with freshman Jonathan Walker (Elkin, N.C.) for a narrow win at No. 4 doubles. The pair earned an 8-7 triumph over the Verano/Hatala pairing from Army.

Gardner-Webb faced off with SoCon member UNCG on day two. The Runnin' Bulldogs earned a split in the four matches. GWU's Piftor/Dempsey again won at No. 3 doubles, outlasting the Spartans' Albright/Roueche by an 8-4 margin.

At No. 4 doubles, Poli and Walker combined for the win over UNCG's Smith/Murray, prevailing in a tight 8-7 (6) match.

Gardner-Webb will hit the courts, next, on Saturday, February 2, for a match at USC Upstate. That match is slated for a 1:00 p.m. start time in Spartanburg, S.C.



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