WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – No. 2 seed Gardner-Webb took a quick 3-0 lead, but saw No. 7 seed UNC Asheville rally to take the final four team points for a 4-3 upset in the first round of the 2017 Big South Conference Men's Tennis Championship.
The match was moved indoors at the Wake Forest Tennis Center due to wet weather.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (11-13) wrapped up the doubles points on the second and third courts, with Maximilian Scholl and Breno Plentz taking a 6-3 win over Reid Dillon and Olly Cull at No. 2 doubles and the tandem of Adam Schmidt and Ross Gilbert capturing a 6-4 win at No. 3 doubles.
Schmidt dispatched Dillon with ease at No. 3 singles, winning in straight sets (6-1, 6-1) and Plentz handled Cull at No. 4 singles – also in straight sets – 6-2 and 6-1.
Trailing 3-0, UNC Asheville made its move at No. 2 singles, getting a win by Josh Swindler in straight sets (6-4, 6-2), for the Bulldogs' first team point of the match.
The most anticipated singles match of the tournament was in full throttle on court No. 1, as Big South Player of the Year and undefeated Henry Patten battled Scholl. Patten escaped the first set with a 7-6 (4) win, but Scholl continued to fight – and held a 5-0 edge in the second set tiebreak before Patten rallied to win and pull UNC Asheville within 3-2 on the team scoreboard.
James Massie and Johan Fors squared off at No. 5 singles, with Massie pulling UNC Asheville even with a 7-5, 6-4 victory.
That set up a decisive point at No. 6 singles, with Gardner-Webb freshman Ross Gilbert tangling with Asheville's Andrew Sinal.
Gilbert earned a hard-fought, 7-6 win in the opening set, but Sinal recovered to take the second set by a 6-2 score. Sinal matched that score in the final set of the day, delivering a 6-2 win and the match to seal the upset.
TEAM SCORE: #7 UNC Asheville 4, #2 Gardner-Webb 3
1. PATTEN, Henry/SWINDLER, Josh (AVL) def. HOGAN, Paul/FORS, Johan (GWU) 7-5
2. SCHOLL, Maximilian/PLENTZ, Breno (GWU) def. DILLON, Reid/CULL, Olly (AVL) 6-3
3. SCHMIDT, Adam/GILBERT, Ross (GWU) def. MASSIE, James/YOUSIF, Majed (AVL) 6-4
1. PATTEN, Henry (AVL) def. SCHOLL, Maximilian (GWU) 7-6, 7-6
2. SWINDLER, Josh (AVL) def. HOGAN, Paul (GWU) 6-4, 6-2
3. SCHMIDT, Adam (GWU) def. DILLON, Reid (AVL) 6-1, 6-1
4. PLENTZ, Breno (GWU) def. CULL, Olly (AVL) 6-2, 6-1
5. MASSIE, James (AVL) def. FORS, Johan (GWU) 7-5, 6-4
6. SINAL, Andrew (AVL) vs. GILBERT, Ross (GWU) 6-7, 6-2, 6-2