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Furman Reaches SoCon Finals With 4-3 Win Over UNCG

Ben Horst
Ben Horst

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – Down 5-3 in the third set, All-Southern Conference selection Ben Horst came from behind for a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory over Cameron Smith at flight six singles to push Furman past UNC Greensboro, 4-3,Friday  in the semifinals of the 2014 Southern Conference Championships at the Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.

With the win, Furman (16-8, 8-1 SoCon) advances to the finals of the SoCon Championships, where the Paladins will face No. 1 Elon Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Champions Club in Chattanooga, Tenn.  This marks the Paladins' first appearance in the finals under head coach Kelly Jones and the team's first appearance since 2009, when Furman defeated Elon, 4-0.

The Spartans won two doubles matches to claim the opening point.  Furman freshman Adam Steryous and junior Jacob Behal struck first, defeating Randy Phillips and Nazhone Wilkins, 8-4, at flight two, before James Dougherty and Ahmet Sarioglu evened the slate with an 8-6 win over sophomore Matt Browne and senior Joel Cook at number one.  In the decisive flight three contest, Smith teamed with Daniel Mack to down Horst and senior Alex Christ, 8-7(7-3).

In singles action, UNCG took a 2-0 lead after Phillips downed junior Luke Synn, 6-1, 6-3, at number three, before the Paladins reeled off three-straight singles victories to take the lead.  Cook put Furman on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Mack at number four, then freshman Juan Sheppard tied the score after topping Gaston Murray, 7-6, 6-4.  Steryous registered a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory against Sarioglu in the top flighted match-up to give the Paladins the advantage.

Dougherty kept the Spartans in the match, tying the score at 3-all after topping Browne, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, at flight two, setting up the decisive flight six contest.

Live stats for Saturday's championship match will be available at and at

Furman 4, UNCG 3
Apr 18, 2014 at Chattanooga, Tenn. (Champions Club)

Singles competition

1. Adam Steryous (FUR) def. Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) 3-6, 6-4, 6-3

2. James Dougherty (UNCG) def. Matt Browne (FUR) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2

3. Randy Phillips (UNCG) def. Luke Synn (FUR) 6-1, 6-3

4. Joel Cook (FUR) def. Daniel Mack (UNCG) 6-3, 6-2

5. Juan Sheppard (FUR) def. Gaston Murray (UNCG) 7-6, 6-4

6. Ben Horst (FUR) def. Cameron Smith (UNCG) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5


Doubles competition

1. James Dougherty/Ahmet Sarioglu (UNCG) def. Matt Browne/Joel Cook (FUR) 8-6

2. Adam Steryous/Jacob Behal (FUR) def. Randy Phillips/Nazhone Wilkins (UNCG) 8-4

3. Cameron Smith/Daniel Mack (UNCG) def. Alex Christ/Ben Horst (FUR) 8-7 (7-3)


Match Notes

UNCG 14-7

Furman 16-8

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