Men's Tennis Sweeps Gardner-Webb in Opener
Jan. 14, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. – For the eighth consecutive year, the NC State men’s tennis team won its opening match of the season, sweeping Big South foe Gardner-Webb 7-0 Saturday morning at the Isenhour Tennis Center.
It was the first of two matches on the day, with the No. 59 Pack (1-0) hosting another set of Bulldogs from the Big South, UNC Asheville, on Saturday afternoon.
Head coach Jon Choboy, entering his 10th season with the program, went with a mix of veterans and newcomers in his opening lineup, putting senior Jaime Pulgar at No. 1 singles, sophomore Sean Weber at No. 4 singles and junior Matt Thomson at No. 5. He rounded out his lineup with his heralded freshman class of No. 100 Austin Powell at No. 2, Robbie Mudge at No. 3 and Beck Bond at No. 6.
“We went with the three freshmen in the lineup to give them a little taste of college competition,” Choboy said afterwards. “I thought they handled it well.”
While Pulgar cruised with a 6-0, 6-0, win over Gardner-Webb’s Adam Knutsson-Sundblad, Powell played three sets in his match after losing his second set to Korhan Ates. He came back to win the tie-breaker 10-5.
“I thought it was great for Austin to come back and fight through for a win like he did,” Choboy said.
Both Mudge and Bond sailed through their matches.
Thomson also needed three sets to complete the team sweep of the Bulldogs. After losing his opener, 4-6, he came back to win 6-4 and 10-2.
The Wolfpack swept doubles play as well, led by the combo of Pulgar and sophomore Ivan Sanchez Gomez, who notched an 8-2 victory at the No. 2 spot in their first time playing together in doubles competition.
It was Pulgar’s first collegiate action since last spring, after winning four international doubles events on the ITF Futures Tour in in Kuwait, India and his native Spain.
Senior Julian Sullivan and Weber also finished quickly, with an 8-3 win at the No. 1 spot, while Mudge and sophomore Will Rollinson won 8-4 at the No. 3 spot. It was the first win for the Sullivan-Weber combo after playing four matches together last year at the No. 2 spot.
The Wolfpack then had a quick turnaround to prepare for its second match of the day, which was slated to begin at 2 p.m. against UNC Asheville at the Isenhour Tennis Center.
Next weekend, the Wolfpack hosts a pair of matches against Penn State at 10 a.m. and East Carolina at 4 p.m. at the Isenhour Tennis Center. Admission is free for all spectators.
No. 59 NC State (1-0) vs. Gardner-Webb (0-1), 7-0
Order of finish: 2, 3, 1.
Order of finish: 1, 3, 4, 2, 6, 5.