BOILING SPRINGS – Breno Plentz captured a 7-6 (8) win in the third set tie breaker at No. 4 singles to clinch a critical team win for Gardner-Webb over Longwood Saturday in Big South men's tennis action.
The freshman standout won his opening set, 6-2, but saw Longwood's Arthur Bardelloto battle back for a 7-5 win in the second. The two went back-and-forth with several pressure packed points in the third set, before Plentz returned an excellent serve and Bardelloto's shot went into the net.
"That was a very good college tennis match," said head coach Mike Griffith. "Longwood is a very good team. I feel our team is so much better than we were just a couple of weeks ago. We can enjoy this one for a day and then we need to prepare for what waits for us next."
The Runnin' Bulldogs (10-11, 4-2 Big South) took the doubles point to get out of the gate quickly, with the duo of Adam Schmidt and Ross Gilbert battling for a thrilling, 7-6 (6) win to clinch. After Longwood took a 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles to get an early advantage, Johan Fors and Paul Hogan battled for a 7-6 (5) win at No. 1 doubles to even things.
A win by Schmidt at No. 3 singles put Gardner-Webb up 2-0, with Schmidt taking down Julian Farthing by identical 6-1 wins in straight sets. Longwood picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win from Noah Patralia at No. 5 singles, but Maximilian Scholl won – 6-3, 6-4 – in straight sets at No. 1 singles for a 3-1 Gardner-Webb team lead.
Longwood picked up wins at No. 6 and No. 2 singles to draw even, however, leaving the match in the hands of Plentz and Bardelloto. The duo did not disappoint the crowd on hand, delivering a thrilling end to the match – particularly for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Gardner-Webb will travel on Monday, taking a trip to Appalachian State for a non-conference bout. The 'Dogs and Mountaineers will begin at 3:00 pm.