BOONE, N.C. - A day after the Mountaineers saw their three-match winning streak snapped, Appalachian State University men's tennis rebounded with a 6-1 win over Belmont at Deer Valley Racquet Club on Sunday. The Black and Gold (4-3) regain their winning record, while Belmont (1-4) continues to stumble in 2012.
In doubles action, Appalachian seniors Alain Humblet and Steve Karendal were the first to notch a win, turning a 3-4 deficit into a 7-4 advantage en route to an 8-6 win at No 2. Within moments, ASU's No. 3 duo of Andrew McKinnon and Zeke Sansing capitalized on two serve breaks to take their match 8-3 and secure the doubles point for the Apps.
Individually, ASU senior Alex Markov won three straight games to close out the first set and four-straight in his second, cruising to a 6-3, 6-2 win at No. 1 to start the singles scoring.
In No. 3 singles, Humblet broke serve late in the first set and in the first game of the second. The Mountaineer tacked on another broken serve late in the latter set, scoring a 6-4, 6-2 win, extending Appalachian's lead to 3-0.
After winning four unanswered games to end the first set, Kloc put himself in position to secure the match-clinching point. In the second set, the Mountaineer's late break put him up 5-3, and he succeeded in holding serve for the 6-3, 6-3 victory to extend ASU's team score to an unreachable 4-0.
At No. 5 singles, Karendal scored his second win of the day in quick fashion, as Belmont's netter was forced to retire by injury after only three games.
No. 6 sophomore Matt Saltsgaver tallied Appalachian's final point, maintaining consistent pressure to score a break in the first set to win 6-3. In the second, Saltsgaver was serving for the match at 5-4, but his Belmont opponent hung tough to equalize the score, and after back-to-back breaks, the combatants found themselves deadlocked, 6-6. In the end, Saltsgaver regained his composure and swept the tiebreaker for the 6-3, 7-6(7-0) win.
In the final match on the courts, Belmont's Henrique Norbiato scored Belmont's only sets of the day, recording a 6-4 first set before sending the second into a tiebreaker. Though ASU's King pulled out the second-set breaker, Norbiato prevailed in the super tie-breaker, earning Belmont's lone point at No. 4 singles, 6-4, 6-7(3-7), (10-8).
The Mountaineers will have two weeks to prepare for their next match, as Appalachian State is set to open Southern Conference action in its next match, a March 11 meeting with Samford in Birmingham.
Appalachian State 6, Belmont 1
Feb 26, 2012 at Boone, N.C. (Deer Valley Racquet Club)
1. Alex Markov (ASU) def. Renato Antun (BEL) 6-3, 6-2
2. Philip Kloc (ASU) def. Rodrigo Amaral (BEL) 6-3, 6-3
3. Alain Humblet (ASU) def. Fernando Mussolini (BEL) 6-4, 6-2
4. Henrique Norbiato (BEL) def. Sebastien King (ASU) 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 1-0 (10-6)
5. Steve Karendal (ASU) def. Rafael Matos (BEL) 2-1, retired
6. Matt Saltsgaver (ASU) def. Bruno Silva (BEL) 6-3, 7-6 (7-0)
1. Philip Kloc/Sebastien King (ASU) def. Renato Antun/Rodrigo Amaral (BEL) 6-5, retired
2. Alain Humblet/Steve Karendal (ASU) def. Rafael Matos/Fernando Mussolini (BEL) 8-6
3. Andrew McKinnon/Zeke Sansing (ASU) def. Henrique Norbiato/Bruno Silva (BEL) 8-3
Appalachian State 4-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,3,2,5,6,4)