After three grueling doubles matches, two going to a tiebreaker, Charlotte and Garnder-Webb split the singles decisions, giving the Runnin' Bulldogs a 4-3 decision over the 49ers at the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex Saturday morning in non-conference tennis action. Garnder-Webb gets to 5-8 on the season, with Charlotte slipping to 11-6 in 2012.
Gardner-Webb won all three doubles matches, with the number-one and number-three matches needing a tiebreaker, while the number-two match finished 9-7.
Charlotte's top three singles players, all freshmen, won their singles matchups in straight sets. Jack Williams (Alpharetta, Ga.) took out Korhan Ates 7-5, 6-2 at number one. Kamil Khalil won 6-4, 7-5 in his number-two match. Alex Calott secured a 6-1, 7-5 victory at number three.
"Gardner-Webb outplayed us on the big points today," said Charlotte head coach Billy Boykin. "That is a tough-nosed group. After losing three really tight doubles matches, our guys responded by winning first sets on five of six courts in singles play. The Gardner-Webb found a way back into every singles match. They hung around, captured the momentum and outlasted us in the end."
Calott earned his team-leading 15th singles victory, with Williams one win back at 14. Khalil has won a season-high 10 singles matches in a row for the 49ers.
Charlotte lost three-set matches at number four and number-six in an effort to get the team victory, while the number-five match needed a tiebreaker in the first set that went one extra point before settling on the GWU side.
"This is a tough loss, because we coughed up some leads and never played our best tennis," added Boykin. "But our kids are still hungry, and I know they'll respond on the practice courts this week."
Charlotte's Sunday match against conference foe Richmond has been canceled due to the weather forecast for the area. The two teams will try to make up the date, but that is not likely with the season running out of playing dates.
Charlotte's next scheduled match will be their home finale when the Niners host Appalachian State on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.