Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate jumped out to an early lead in doubles play and never looked back, as the Runnin' Bulldogs fell short on the road by a 5-2 margin in men's tennis action on Saturday afternoon.
GWU (0-2) quickly found itself in a 1-0 hole in Saturday's match, after USC Upstate garnered wins at all three doubles positions.
The Spartans kept the Runnin' Bulldogs on their heels with straight set wins at No. 1 and No. 6, pressuring the visitors early on in singles play.
Down 3-0, GWU kept fighting, earning a key win at No. 4 singles to get on the board. Sophomore Ernest Alberch (Torello, Spain) controlled the pace throughout, taking a 6-0, 6-3 triumph against the Spartans' Gonzalo Blanco to give the Runnin' Bulldogs the win.
A win at No. 3 singles from USC Upstate newcomer Viktor Selander sealed the match for the host team.
Brendan Dempsey (Dublin, Ireland) came out firing at No. 5, outlasting Upstate's Jamie Yates for a 6-1, 6-3 win, the second singles victory of the day for Gardner-Webb. The sophomore is off to a 2-0 start in singles play this season.
With the match in hand, the Runnin' Bulldogs' Roman Piftor fell to Yvon Haessig at No. 2 singles after battling back from a first set loss to force a tiebreak, ultimately dropping a 1-6, 7-6, 10-6 decision.
Saturday's contest marked the second in a three-match road stretch to open the season, beginning with the season-opener at #18 North Carolina and ending Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Davidson.
Tuesday's road match at Davidson is scheduled for a 4:00 p.m. start time.