BOILING SPRINGS – Johan Fors rallied for a thrilling win at No. 5 singles Tuesday afternoon to lift Gardner-Webb to a 4-3 victory over Campbell in a critical Big South Conference match.
Fors fell in a tight first set, 7-6 (2) to Campbell freshman Fernando Clemente, but rallied for a comfortable 6-2 win in the second to pull even. The two engaged in another high-pressure set to close Tuesday's action, with Fors winning the final two tiebreakers for a 7-6 (5) win.
It was the third win in a row for the Runnin' Bulldogs (11-11, 5-2 Big South).
"We had momentum and gave it up in doubles, but I'm proud of my team for rebounding and finding a way to win today," said head coach Mike Griffith. "I'm very proud of Johan Fors for coming back after going down a set and then falling behind 5-3 in the third set. He dug down and pulled it out. Breno Plentz was strong as usual, and he's now 6-1 as a true freshman against Big South opponents.
"Overall this was a great team win against a strong Campbell team who we have a lot of respect for."
Maximilian Scholl and Plentz rolled to a 6-1 win at No. 2 doubles to start the day with a very positive result, but Campbell countered with wins at No. 3 and No. 1 doubles to secure that valuable team point in the early going.
The Camels' Dustin Werner and Lorenz Schwab took a hard-fought, 7-6 (6) decision at No. 1 doubles to top Paul Hogan and Fors in the final and decisive doubles flight.
Plentz evened things by winning at No. 4 singles to start that portion of the day's action, beating Ratikin in straight sets – 6-4 and 6-2.
Scholl would not be outdone, capturing a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles over Lukas Schaefer to give Gardner-Webb a 2-1 team lead – but the Fighting Camels fought back to even things when Werner took a 6-4, 6-1 win at No. 2 singles.
Freshman Ross Gilbert put the Runnin' Bulldogs within striking distance of the team victory with a 6-2, 6-3 decision at No. 6 singles, but Campbell pulled even again with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win by Gerard Sola.
That set up the decisive, and pressure-packed match between Fors and Clemente.
Gardner-Webb wrapped up its Big South Conference slate Tuesday and will play a non-conference match at Appalachian State on Monday, April 10 at 2:00 pm in Boone.