The Mountaineers (13-6, 6-2 SoCon) preserve a flawless 6-0 record at home and clinch a first-round bye in the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament, while Chattanooga (13-7, 4-5 SoCon) falls for the third time in its last four matches.
At No. 3, Mountaineers Andrew McKinnon and Steve Karendal trailed 3-4 before rattling off five unanswered games for the 8-4 win to clinch the doubles point. ASU seniors Alain Humblet and Alex Markov followed suit with an 8-4 win in the No. 2 slot to sweep the pairs matches.
Singles play began ominously for the Apps, as King was forced to retire early due to injury, and the Black and Gold's lead in the match evaporated.
Humblet regained the Apps lead with a routine win in the No. 3 match. The Mountaineer broke open a 5-0 lead in the opening set and won four games in a row to close out a 6-2, 6-2 victory, handing the Black and Gold a 2-1 edge.
After winning his first set 6-2, ASU's Matt Saltsgaver fell behind 1-4 in the second. The sophomore collected himself and stayed in the set by winning three straight games, eventually forcing a set tiebreaker. Trailing 3-4 in the extra points, Saltsgaver tacked on four consecutive points for a 6-2, 7-6(7-4) match victory.
Requiring one more win to clinch the match, Appalachian's needs were answered by Karendal in the No. 5 match, who stole five successive games to close the first set and scored a late break to win his second of a 6-2, 6-4 triumph.
In the No. 1 match, ASU's Markov lost the first set by the narrowest of margins and appeared rattled by injury late in his 6-7(5-7), 1-6 loss.
The match concluded with a memorable comeback by Kloc. After dropping five repeated games in a 2-6 opening set, Kloc recovered from a 1-4 deficit in the second to force a seven-point tiebreaker. The Mountaineer held a slim lead throughout the series to take the set, 7-6(7-4), and triggered a 10-point match tiebreaker. Kloc jumped out to an insurmountable 6-1 lead and won the last four points in his lengthy 2-6, 7-6(7-4), (10-3) affair.
By virtue of its 6-2 conference record, Appalachian has clinched a top-five finish in the league standings, guaranteeing the team an opening-round bye in the Southern Conference Tournament to be held April 19-22 in Charleston, S.C.
Appalachian State concludes the regular season with a pair of home matches against two of the league's top squads next week. The Apps host Furman on Wednesday at 3 p.m. before the season finale against College of Charleston on Friday at 2:30 p.m.