Building on early success

Liberty’s men’s tennis team downs Bluefield State in a 5-2 Flames victory at home

After winning its season debut against the Morehead State Eagles, 6-1, the Liberty men’s tennis team (2-0) defeated the Bluefield State Blues (0-1) 5-2 in Liberty’s home opener Friday, Jan. 31.

The Flames opened the matchup sweeping doubles competition. The No. 26 team in the nation of Shea Thomas and Jorge Azuero set the tone for Liberty by beating the Blues pair of Jacob Carey and Piotr Kruk, 8-6. With the victory, Thomas became the second player to reach 75 career doubles victories. Thomas is now four wins away from tying Ginacarlo Lemmi’s record of all-time doubles victories.

ACE — Liberty improved its record to 2-0. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

ACE — Liberty improved its record to 2-0. Photo credit: Courtney Russo

Pairs Stan Vaughan and Alejendro Llamas and Egon Samaai and Guillem Secanell also picked up victories, giving Liberty an early 1-0 lead in the series.

In singles competition, Liberty added four more wins to its total. Thomas defeated Carey in two sets 7-5 and 6-3. With the wins, he extended his singles winning streak to five, dating back to last season. Thomas’ last loss came against the James Madison Dukes last April.

Azuero faced Aziz Yuldashev in the second singles match. After Azuero won the first set 6-3, Yuldashev answered and controlled the second set 6-2. Even with one win apiece, Azuero bounced back and won 6-2 in the final set.

Conner Pickering and Vlad Catlan picked up wins for Bluefield State in the fifth and sixth matchups for the evening.

Liberty looks to start the season 3-0 for the second consecutive season when they travel to play the College of William and Mary Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.

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