Men’s Tennis defeats NC A&T 7-0, controversy ensues

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Senior Scott Webster swings at the ball during a match.

Zackery Antrum

The Appalachian State men’s tennis team (3-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) picked up their second win of the day as they defeated North Carolina A&T State University (0-5, 0-0 MEAC) 7-0 on Sunday afternoon.

“This was a D1 (Division One) match against a good team so we had to be on it,” head coach Bob Lake said. “With everyone getting to play, that brings the guys closer together.”

While the entire team performed well on the day, freshmen Blake Carter, Ben Webster and Spencer Brown all put in standout performances on the day, with Carter picking up his first win of the season, and Webster continuing his hot streak after winning his first match of the season the day before against University of South Carolina Upstate.

“This is my first day of playing D1 college tennis and getting four wins on the day was a big accomplishment for me,” Carter said.

Webster also said, “We had a good win this morning against Lees-McRae and to come out against a pretty solid lineup and go 7-0 against NC A&T is big for us.”

Sophomore Alex Pavkovich also put in an ironman performance, where he pulled out the victory after an intense three-hour match.

Words were exchanged by both teams throughout the match and rumors arose afterwards that an App State player used a racial slur against an Aggie player, but nothing could be confirmed at the time.

Later on that evening a post on social media by John Wilson IV of the A&T tennis team described the incident in more detail. When asked to comment, Wilson said, “The match started off with normal trash talk. Then the remarks kept getting worse and more personal until it ended up with a racist remark.”

Many members of the A&T community, as well as a large number of App State alumni took to Twitter to voice their rage and disgust over the issue. Wilson’s original tweet about the incident got over 6,000 likes and retweets.

The next day, the App State Athletic Department released a statement that said, “After yesterday’s men’s tennis match, an Appalachian State student-athlete engaged in behavior that was derogatory and offensive.This student-athlete has been indefinitely suspended from the team, effective immediately, for violating the student-athlete discipline policy. We have reached out to #NCAT to convey our apologies on behalf of Appalachian Athletics and the university for the conduct of this member of the team.”

The Mountaineers will now look to continue their three match winning streak when they host North Carolina Central University on Friday.

 

Story By: Zack Antrum, Sports Reporter

Photo By: Courtesy of App State Athletics