Mellow Lifts Furman Past Samford, 4-3

Andrew Mellow

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Senior Andrew Mellow came from behind to defeat 112th-ranked Zac Dunkle, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, at number one singles, to lift the Furman men's tennis team past Southern Conference Samford, 4-3, Sunday at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C.  

With the victory, the Paladins extended their winning streak to fourth-straight matches and snapped the Bulldogs' four-match league winning streak.  Heading into the last week of the regular season, Furman (7-12, 4-4 SoCon) has won five of its last six matches.  Samford falls to 11-8 overall and 6-2 in the league with the loss.

Samford jumped out to an early lead in doubles after Alex Sajonz and Fares Kilani topped sophomore Jacob Behal and senior Tyler Droll, 8-3, at flight three.  Furman junior Joel Cook teamed with Mellow to even the score with an 8-6 win over #72 Dunkle and Garrison Laduca at flight one, setting up the decisive flight two contest.  Junior Alex Christ and freshman Matt Browne prevailed, taking a 9-7 advantage over Elliot Barnwell and Austin Akers to claim the opening point for the Paladins.

In singles play, Barnwell posted a 6-3, 6-1 win over Christ at number two to put the Bulldogs on the board, and Sajonz defeated Cook, 6-1, 7-6, at flight four to give Samford a 2-1 advantage.  Behal tied the score with a 6-4, 6-3 victory versus Akers at flight five, then the Bulldogs regained the lead after Kilani came from behind to top Browne, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 at number three.  Paladin sophomore Luke Synn held on to defeat Laduca, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, in the flight six match-up, setting up the decisive top-seeded match.

"Today was a testament of where we are as a team," said Furman head coach Kelly Jones following the victory.  "We are right there with the best teams in our conference.  If you had asked me two weeks ago if we would be in a position to beat a team like Samford, I might have told you no, but over the past two weeks we have come together, and this team has put its heart and soul into things after such a disappointing start.  That has been a lot of fun.  I have felt since the beginning of the year that we are a better team than last year, but our season just didn't start off that way."

Furman will travel to Wofford Wednesday at 3 p.m.

 

Furman 4, Samford 3
Apr 07, 2013 at Greenville, S.C. (Mickel Tennis Center)

Singles competition

1. Andrew Mellow (FUR) def. #112 Zac Dunkle (SAM-MT) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

2. Elliot Barnwell (SAM-MT) def. Alex Christ (FUR) 6-3, 6-1

3. Fares Kilani (SAM-MT) def. Matt Browne (FUR) 2-6, 6-4, 6-3

4. Alex Sajonz (SAM-MT) def. Joel Cook (FUR) 6-1, 7-6

5. Jacob Behal (FUR) def. Austin Akers (SAM-MT) 6-4, 6-3

6. Luke Synn (FUR) def. Garrison Laduca (SAM-MT) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

 

Doubles competition

1. Joel Cook/Andrew Mellow (FUR) def. #72 Zac Dunkle/Garrison Laduca (SAM-MT) 8-6

2. Alex Christ/Matt Browne (FUR) def. Elliot Barnwell/Austin Akers (SAM-MT) 9-7

3. Alex Sajonz/Fares Kilani (SAM-MT) def. Jacob Behal/Tyler Droll (FUR) 8-3

 

Match Notes

Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,4,5,3,6,1)