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Flames Suffer First Defeat of the Season at William & Mary
The Liberty men's tennis team saw its bid to start the season 3-0 for the second consecutive year fall short on Thursday. The Flames fell, 5-2, to the Tribe of William & Mary at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center.
Liberty (2-1) drops to 0-5 all-time against William & Mary (6-5). Last season, the Tribe tripped up the Flames, 4-2, ending their bid to start a season 4-0 for the first time in program history.
For the first time this season, Liberty was unable to collect the doubles point. The Tribe received a win in the No. 3 position from John Banks and Ben Hoogland over the Flames' Egon Samaai and Carson Greve, 6-2. At No. 2, Ben Guthrie and Damon Niquet clinched the point for the home team with a 6-2 victory against Stan Vaughan and Alejandro Llamas.
With the point already in hand, the No. 1 doubles contest between Liberty's No. 26-ranked pair of Shea Thomas and Jorge Azuero and William & Mary's Aaron Chaffee and Will Juggins was ruled unfinished.
Thomas quickly evened the match at one apiece with a commanding win in the top singles position. The senior downed Guthrie in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0, for his third singles victory of the season.
The Tribe responded with three consecutive wins to seal the match. At No. 5, Niquet knocked off Vaughan, 6-0, 6-1, before Banks ousted Greve, 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 6 spot. Juggins' 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Llamas in the No. 3 position secured William & Mary's fourth consecutive victory.
Samaai matched Thomas for the team lead in singles victories at three with a 6-2, 6-2 takedown of Appleby in the No. 4 position.
The evening concluded with a hard-fought win in the No. 2 spot from the Tribe's Hoogland over Azuero, 6-3, 6-5 (5).
The Flames now travel to Baton Rouge, La., to square off against No. 27 LSU on Saturday. The match is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. EST.
William & Mary 5, Liberty 2
1. Shea Thomas (LU) def. Ben Guthrie (W&M) – 6-3, 6-0
2. Ben Hoogland (W&M) def. Jorge Azuero (LU) – 6-3, 6-5 (5)
3. Will Juggins (W&M) def. Alejandro Llamas (LU) – 6-1, 6-1
4. Egon Samaai (LU) def. Addison Appleby (W&M) – 6-2, 6-2
5. Damon Niquet (W&M) def. Stan Vaughan (LU) – 6-0, 6-1
6. John Banks (W&M) def. Carson Greve (LU) – 6-2, 6-1
1. Aaron Chaffee/Will Juggins (W&M) vs. Shea Thomas/Jorge Azuero (LU) – DNF, 5-4
2. Ben Guthrie/Damon Niquet (W&M) def. Stan Vaughan/Alejandro Llamas (LU) – 6-2
3. John Banks/Ben Hoogland (W&M) def. Egon Samaai/Carson Greve (LU) – 6-2