Patten finishes perfect year for UNC Asheville tennis

Henry Patten vs Liberty (WLOS Staff).jpg

ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville men's tennis team concluded their regular-season slate against Liberty University with a 5-2 victory on Senior Day at the Asheville Racquet Club on Thursday, April 13.

The Flames took the early lead over the Bulldogs, seizing the doubles competition. The No. 1 duo of Henry Patten and Josh Swindler finished 18-1 on the season with their 6-3 triumph over Alex Poynter and Vince Salas. Liberty went on to take court No. 2 and 3 to seize the doubles point. On Court No. 2, Liberty's Diego Castano and Ryker Heller defeated Reid Dillon and Olly Cull, 6-4. Doubles play concluded on court No. 3 as the Bulldogs' Majed Yousif and James Massie lost a heart-breaking 7-6 tiebreak to Max Borcuti and Chase Burton.

The singles competition began with No. 1 seeded Patten downing Burton in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1, to finish 19-0 in singles play this regular-season. Court No. 2 saw Swindler top Salas, 6-2, 7-5. On court No. 3, senior Dillon fell 6-3, 7-5, to Castano. Asheville extended their lead when No. 4 seeded Cull bested Helley, 7-6, 6-4. The No. 6 seeded Andrew Sinai rallied to defeat Poynter in a thrilling three-setter, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. The afternoon concluded with No. 5 Massie fighting back to defeat Borcuti, 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (5).


SENIOR DAY: Thursday served as Senior Day for the Bulldogs, as it was their final regular season match. Seniors Reid Dillon and Josh Swindler were honored after the doubles competition by head coach Tom Hand.

GOING THE DISTANCE: Senior Josh Swindler has shown his resiliency and determination this year as seven of his 19 matches have gone a full three sets. Swindler is not only 14-5 on the season in singles play, but 6-1 in matches that have gone the distance. The senior also sits atop the Big South Conference standings at the No. 2 singles slot.

PATTEN MAKES HISTORY: Sophomore Henry Patten has been extremely impressive in his performances this season, earning himself back-to-back Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Week for matches played Jan. 23-29 as well as Feb. 27-March 6. Patten topped the No. 102 ranked singles player at the time, Scott Webster of Appalachian State, earlier this season. Patten also defeated the No. 66 ranked singles player at the time, Eduardo Mena of Tennessee Tech. The native of the U.K. leads the Big South Conference standings at the No. 1 singles slot and finished the regular season 19-0 in singles play on the year, winning every match but one in straight sets. With his victory today, Patten is now the only Bulldog to achieve an undefeated season at No. 1 singles in the history of the program.

FINISHING THE SEASON STRONG: The No. 1 duo of Henry Patten and Josh Swindler have had a phenomenal season. After today's victory, the top pairing improved to 18-1 on the year and are currently riding a 14-match winning streak heading into championship play.

UP NEXT: The Bulldogs will now look forward to competing in the 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championships, which will be held in Winston-Salem, N.C. on April 19-21.

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