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Sophomore all-Southern Conference honoree Matt Saltsgaver and his squad of Mountaineers enter this year's tournament with the program's best-ever seed at No. 3.
Courtesy: Dave Mayo (Appalachian, 1983)
Men's Tennis Ready for SoCon Tournament
Courtesy: Appalachian State Sports Information
Release: Wednesday 04/18/2012 (ET)
CHARLESTON, S.C. - After a regular season that saw the Mountaineers secure their best conference winning percentage in the 12-year tenure of head coach Bob Lake, Appalachian State University men's tennis is set to compete in the 2012 Southern Conference Tennis Championship this weekend.

As the No. 3 seed, Appalachian State (12-6-1, 7-2-1 SoCon) has earned a first-round bye and will play either No. 6 Elon or No. 11 The Citadel in a quarterfinal match on Friday at 3 p.m. With a win, ASU would advance to a Saturday semifinal at 10:30 a.m. prior to Sunday's championship at 10 a.m.

All Appalachian State men's tennis matches will be played at the College of Charleston Tennis Center.

Appalachian's No. 3 seed is the program's best since the SoCon instituted the current team championship format in 1998. ASU is 4-2 all-time when receiving a first-round bye.

Senior Mountaineer Alex Markov leads his team from the No. 1 position, while classmate Philip Kloc has earned seven conference wins in the No. 2 slot. Rounding out the top half of the lineup, fellow senior Alain Humblet, a two-time SoCon Player of the Week, won eight straight league matches this year.

Steve Karendal earned a 9-1 mark in SoCon play this season, while all-SoCon honoree Matt Saltsgaver was 8-1, playing mostly in the No. 6 spot.

Appalachian's doubles lineup includes two all-Southern Conference pairs, including Kloc and sophomore Sebastien King at No. 1 with Markov and Humblet as the No. 2 tandem. Overall, ASU's doubles secured the best-of-three point in eight of 10 league matches.

ASU is a combined 4-1 against potential quarterfinal opponents Elon and The Citadel, and this year's Mountaineers look to make Appalachian's first semifinal appearance since 2008.



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