Conway, S.C. - Gardner-Webb's men's tennis team saw its five match winning streak come to an end on Sunday, as the Runnin' Bulldogs were overpowered by a hot Coastal Carolina team, dropping a 6-1 match in its Big South opener.
GWU (5-4, 0-1 Big South) fell for the first time in 33 days, having last lost on February 5 in a non-conference match at Davidson.
On Sunday against the Chanticleers (5-4, 2-0), the Runnin' Bulldogs found themselves in a duel with a team already 3-1 on the year at home and winners of a 4-3 match against reigning Conference champ Radford.
Gardner-Webb found itself in a hole after the Chanticleers swept doubles to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Runnin' Bulldogs, winless this season when dropping the doubles point, did not roll over, fighting back to win the first sets at No.'s 5 and 6 singles.
Senior Adam Knutsson-Sundblad (Gothenburg, Sweden) put up a tough fight at No. 1 singles, pushing Yusuke Kusuda in set one before dropping behind 7-6. Kusuda would go on to take a 7-6, 6-0 match to put the Chanticleers up 2-0. A win from Garik Yedigarian at No. 3 singles put CCU up 3-0.
Brendan Dempsey (Dublin, Ireland) put the Runnin' Bulldogs on the board with a win at the No. 5 singles spot. The sophomore outlasted Coastal's Ted Nilsson by a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 margin to pick up his fifth consecutive singles win and improve to 7-1 in singles play during the 2013 season.
Coastal Carolina bounced back to get the match-clinching win at No. 4 singles and another tough win at the No. 4 singles slot.
Freshman Nikita Zverkov (Moscow, Russia) dropped a tough match at No. 6 singles after winning the first set against Hunter Whalen. The Chanticleers' No. 6 player bounced back, as Zverkov fell by a score of 3-6, 7-5, 6-1.
Gardner-Webb will step out of Conference play on Friday, March 15 when the Runnin' Bulldogs take on Texas-Pan American in a 2:00 p.m. match at the Webb Tennis Complex.