Jan 27, 2009

Tennis defeats Bluefield for first win of year

by Daniel Heffner, Sports Reporter

Liberty tennis opened up its regular season with a 7-0 win against the Bluefield State Rams on Saturday night.

Bluefield State College, an NAIA team located in Bluefield, W.Va., took on a Flames team that was coming off of a 7-0 loss to Old Dominion last Saturday and searching for its first victory of the season. The match marked the first ever meeting between the Flames and the Rams.

“We didn’t really know a lot about Bluefield going into the match. (Our mentality was) we’ve just got to go out and play our own game, take care of business and beat the teams that we need to beat,” junior Chad Simpson said.

This plan seemed to work well, as the top players from Bluefield were handled quite easily by the Liberty players. Playing in front of a home crowd also proved to be an advantage for the Flames, as many students made the journey to the Sports Racket, an indoor tennis complex located just off 501 in Lynchburg

“It was great to play in front of our home crowd, it feels good seeing Liberty students come out and support their tennis team,” Simpson said.
Kicking off the doubles action of the match were juniors Clay Cypert and freshman Giancarlo Lemmi, who started out by winning 8-3 over Andy Sarver and Marcin Majchreax. Simpson and junior Juan Reyes followed by taking out Susan Zivcovik and Derick Sizemore by a score of 8-1. The tandem of junior Louis Steyn and Gregorio Machado easily captured a No. 3 double victory by defeating Howard Coston and Justin Wood, 8-0.

In singles play, Cypert, a transfer from Tyler Junior College, and team captain Louis Steyn each led the way with victories. Cypert posted a 6-2, 6-1 win over Sarver, while Steyn defeated Majchreax 6-1, 6-0.
Lemmi, Machado, Reyes and newcomer Octavio Costa each picked up victories for the Flames in the rest of the singles play.

“I think it is good to play these teams to put into practice what we’ve been learning,” Steyn said. “I am happy about how everybody played. Even though it wasn’t a very hard match, we had the opportunity to work on executing the game plan.”

“Our long term goal that we set for ourselves in our team meeting before the season is to win the Big South title,” Simpson said. “Radford is favored to win the Big South, but all the other teams are fairly even. If everything goes right and we practice the way we’ve been practicing, we will see good results.”

The Flames will travel to play George Mason next Saturday, and then return home to face Lynchburg College on Feb. 7 at the Sports Racket.

Contact Daniel Heffner at
dpheffner@liberty.edu. 


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