Runnin' Bulldogs Men's Tennis to Host GWU Fall Classic in First Competition of 2013-14 Season -—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Junior Ernest Alberch and a young Runnin' Bulldogs squad open the 2013 Fall campaign at home, hosting the GWU Fall Classic September 20-22.
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
Runnin' Bulldogs Men's Tennis to Host GWU Fall Classic in First Competition of 2013-14 Season
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: September 19, 2013
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Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb's men's tennis team is set to compete in its first competition of the Fall 2013 season. The Runnin' Bulldogs will also host for the first time this Fall, hosting the 2013 GWU Fall Classic held Friday, September 20 through Sunday, September 22 at the Webb Tennis Complex.

GWU will look build valuable experience this Fall, as the Runnin' Bulldogs look to replace the leadership of three graduating seniors who helped the program take an important jump last season.

During the 2013 Spring season, Gardner-Webb finished its regular season with a record of 9-10, earning four more wins than it did in 2012. The significant jump in the win column came, in large part, due to a six match win streak forged from February 9 - March 7 last season during its non-conference slate.

Though the Runnin' Bulldogs were stellar out of conference last season, the squad also made its mark in Big South play, knocking off newcomer Longwood at home by a 5-2 score on March 16. GWU also defeated Liberty (6-1) and UNC Asheville (4-3) at home in 2013, sweeping singles play versus the Flames to surpass last season's Big South win total (GWU went 0-7 in Big South play in 2012). 

This season, GWU will look to the next in line to replace the leadership of graduating seniors Roman Piftor, Matt Parker, and Adam Knutsson-Sundblad. Knutsson-Sundblad, who joins GWU's men's tennis coaching staff this season, was an All-Conference No. 1 singles player last season and served as a valuable asset in doubles play. Similarly, Piftor and Parker played valuable roles during last season's step-up for Gardner-Webb men's tennis.

Despite the departure of the three seniors, Gardner-Webb returns a deep lineup bolstered by a new crop of freshmen. Ernest Alberch (Torello, Spain), a Big South All-Academic recipient a season ago, tied for the team lead with twelve wins in 2013, forging a 12-5 record at the No. 4 singles position. Alberch tied with Brendan Dempsey (Dublin, Ireland) for the team's lead in wins, a fellow junior who also went 12-5 while playing predominantly at No. 5 singles.

Sophomore Benjamin Kaszás was placed in an important role as a freshman in 2013 and will likely be called upon to play near the top of the GWU lineup this season. The Budapest, Hungary native went 5-5 at No. 2 singles last season and 4-3 alongside Dempsey in doubles play a year ago. Fellow sophomore Nikita Zverkov (Moscow, Russia) also played a key role as a freshman last season, responding with a 9-3 singles record (including 5-1 at the No. 6 spot) while going 8-3 in doubles play alongside Alberch.

GWU also returns junior Joao Poli (Londrina, Brazil) as well as sophomore Jonathan Walker (Elkin, N.C.). Poli recorded a 1-2 singles mark in limited action a season ago while adding a 2-1 doubles mark alongside Dempsey. Walker won in his only singles appearance in 2013 and also participated in two doubles matches last year.

That depth returning to the Runnin' Bulldogs' lineup will be supplemented by a four-man freshman class. GWU adds Nicholas Lofrumento, A.J. Stillwell, Tyler Macy, and Paul Hogan to its roster in 2013.

Gardner-Webb welcomes fellow Big South members Longwood and Presbyterian, as well as Wofford, to the Tournament this weekend. Play at the 2013 GWU Fall Classic opens on Friday, September 20 and concludes Sunday, September 22.



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