Monday, September 1, 2014

UNCW Invite ends in success

The Liberty University men’s tennis team wrapped up the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) Invitational Sept. 8, bringing home 18 victories.

VOLLEY — Jorge Azuero will be a key  contributor this season. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

VOLLEY — Jorge Azuero will be a key
contributor this season. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

Dillon Segur lifted the Flames, with three of the team’s 14 singles match triumphs.

Liberty was one of six schools competing in the tournament, which included multiple teams ranked in the top 75.

“This is our first time to this tournament, and it was a pretty strong field of players,” Head Coach Chris Johnson said. “We have been working very hard in practice, and our fight on the court reflected that.”

The tournament was a bracket style competition, meaning single elimination games throughout. The invitational consisted of six different “flights,” — flight A and B doubles, and A, B, C and D singles. The players’ seeds determined their flight, with flight A having the higher ranked players and flight D having the lower ranked players.

Liberty entered four doubles teams, along with 10 singles competitors.

Senior Shea Thomas plans to lead the Flames this upcoming season.

“I’ve learned a lot from the previous two captains, and they helped me to become a strong leader and captain for this year,” Thomas said. “The guys know that whenever they have a question or need help with something, they can come to me, and I’ll be there for them. I look forward to leading this group of awesome guys this year.”

Shea started off the doubles competition with his partner Egon Samaai.

On the singles side of the tournament, sophomore Sergio Mourelo, along with Guillem Secanell, Carson Greve and Stan Vaughn, competed in flight C. Flight B included juniors Segur and Jorge Azuero.

According to Johnson, the Flames won three out of five doubles competitions and were excited to play in the highly competitive invitational.

“We are very focused on some big goals this year,” Johnson said. “We won’t accomplish those without learning how to beat some of the best players in the nation. Our entire fall schedule is designed for just this purpose.”

The Flames will next head to Athens, Ga. to play in the Southern Intercollegiate Championships Sept. 13.

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