Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb's men's tennis pushed its winning streak to five, defending its home court once again with a 6-1 over visiting Chattanooga on Thursday.
GWU (5-3) took advantage of fair weather to improve to 4-0 at home in the 2013 season while avenging a 4-3 loss to the Mocs (6-5) last season.
The Runnin' Bulldogs got things rolling with a consistent outing in doubles play, getting wins at all three positions to go up 1-0 in its first match in nearly three weeks. The tandem of Nikita Zverkov and Ernest Alberch continued their hot start to the year with their fifth consecutive win, outlasting the Mocs' Crofford/Chopra by an 8-4 margin.
Dempsey (Dublin, Ireland) continued the Runnin' Bulldogs roll with a quick win at No. 5 singles. The sophomore got past Saunders with a 6-1, 6-3 triumph.
At No. 4, Alberch, a sophomore from Torello, Spain, won his fourth straight singles match, putting GWU up 3-0 over the Mocs with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Tresnan.
The clinching point of the match came thanks to a comeback win and a gritty effort from Zverkov (Moscow, Russia). The freshman took the match at No. 6 singles for the Runnin' Bulldogs by defeating Peacey by a 0-6, 6-3, 6-3 margin.
Seniors Roman Piftor (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) and Knutsson-Sundblad (Gothenburg, Sweden) added singles wins Gardner-Webb on the day. Piftor secured a 7-6 (0), 6-0 win at the No. 2 spot, and Knutsson-Sundblad held down the No. 1 singles position with a 7-5, 2-6, (10-5) win.
With the outcome of the overall match decided, Chattanooga's Chora took the win at No. 3 to round out the scoring.
On Thursday, the Runnin' Bulldogs were able to knock off a veteran Chattanooga squad that has won against Tennessee Tech, Belmont, and College of Charleston this Spring. GWU also was able to avenge last season's 4-3 road loss to the Mocs with the win on Thursday.
Gardner-Webb is scheduled to open Big South play this weekend. GWU plays at Coastal Carolina on Saturday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m.
Results: GWU 6, Chattanooga 1
1.Adam Knutsson-Sundblad/Matt Parker (GWU) def. Smith/GriGorjevs (UTC) 8-7 (7-3)
2.Nikita Zverkov/Ernest Alberch (GWU) def. Crofford/Chopra (UTC) 8-4
3.Brendan Dempsey/Benjamin Kaszás (GWU) def. Saunders/Peacey (UTC) 9-8 (9-7)
Order of finish: 2,3,1
1. Knutsson-Sundblad (GWU) def. Barroetarena (UTC) 7-5, 2-6 (10-5)
2. Roman Piftor (GWU) def. Smith (UTC) 7-6 (0), 6-0
3. Chora (UTC) def. Kaszás (GWU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
4. Alberch (GWU) def. Tresnan (UTC) 6-3, 6-3
5. Dempsey (GWU) def. Saunders (UTC) 6-1, 6-3
6. Zverkov (GWU) def. Peacey (UTC) 0-6, 6-3, 6-3
Order of finish: 5,4,6,2,1,3