Boone, N.C. - The Runnin' Bulldogs got singles wins from Brendan Dempsey and Nikita Zverkov, but were unable to overcome a slow to Friday's match, seeing host Appalachian State capture a 5-2 win in non-conference men's tennis action.
Gardner-Webb (3-4 Big South) moves to 9-9 overall on the season, while Appalachian State (2-7 SoCon) improves to 5-14 overall this season.
With a 1-0 deficit entering doubles play, Gardner-Webb needed a quick win to get back in the match.
Zverkov provided that quick win, earning a decisive 6-3, 6-0 win over Zeke Sansing at No. 6 singles. A freshman from Moscow, Russia, Zverkov improved to 8-3 in singles this Spring to even the match at 1-1.
In need of wins at three of the remaining five singles positions, the Runnin' Bulldogs were unable to shake off the slow start. Appalachian State's Zach Bost and Andrew McKinnon won straight-set decisions at No.'s 3 and 4 singles to put GWU in a 3-1 hole, and Steve Karendal clinched the match for the Mountaineers at No. 1 singles.
After Appalachian State's Sebastien King held off a surge from Roman Piftor, 6-2, 6-4, at No. 2 singles, Gardner-Webb scored its second singles win of the day, this one at the No. 5 position.
Dempsey, a sophomore from Dublin, Ireland, outlasted the Mountaineers' Matt Saltsgaver by a 4-6, 7-5, 10-5 margin. Dempsey's eleventh singles win of the season rounded out the scoring on Friday.
Gardner-Webb men's tennis turns around to play at Radford (Radford, Va.) on Saturday, April 13 at 1:00 p.m. in the Runnin' Bulldogs' regular season finale.