"Appalachian State took the doubles point and we started to slow in singles to turn the momentum, but I'm proud of our team for battling and winning the final two matches," said head coach Mike Griffith. "Our attention now turns to the Big South tournament and our first round match as the No. 2 seed."
The Mountaineers (12-7) swept the doubles action to secure that team point and picked up wins at No. 2 and No. 1 singles out of the gate to take a 3-0 lead. Appalachian State's Trey Morris took a 6-3, 6-4 win over Breno Plentz at No. 3 singles to clinch the match, and Milo Bargeron held on for a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 4 singles for the fifth and final team point of the day for the hosts.
Gardner-Webb got a valiant effort from Fors at No. 5 singles, as he rebounded from a 6-2 loss in the opening set to win his final two sets – 6-2, 6-2 – to pick up a win over Alex Pavkovich.
Gilbert was equally gritty in a win at No. 6 singles, also bouncing back from a 6-2 loss in the opening set vs. Alex Brea. The freshman standout won a lengthy 7-6 (8) set to draw even, then took a 10-4 win to take the match.
Gardner-Webb (11-12) will begin play as the the No. 2 seed in the 2017 Big South Conference Championship, which is slated for April 19-21 in Winston-Salem, N.C., on the campus of Wake Forest University.