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Flames Set to Take on Trio of Sunshine State Schools

February 4, 2015
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Liberty men's tennis squad (4-1) looks to take its talents to Miami, Fla., where the Flames will face a trio of Sunshine State schools in Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast and Miami. Liberty's road trip will mark the first time that the Flames have squared off against any of the three Florida schools.

Liberty is off to a strong 4-1 start, a goal which head coach Chris Johnson is happy to achieve during the first five contests. Leading the way is a young freshman out of Statesville, N.C., Diego Castano. Castano was named the CRONS Freshman of the Week last week and currently leads the squad with four singles wins and four doubles wins. Co-captains Dillon Segur and Jorge Azuero are a combined 5-3 in singles competition and 5-3 in doubles play.

Nick Pierce of the Liberty Flames Sports Network had the chance to sit down with Coach Johnson and discuss his outlook on this weekend's matchups, along with his evaluation of his team thus far.

Thursday's match between Liberty and Florida Atlantic (1-5) is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. The Owls have dropped five straight contests since winning their season opener over then No. 70 UCF. Included in the losing streak are the Hurricanes of Miami, 5-2, and the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 6-1. In its most recent contest Florida Atlantic fell, 4-3, to Georgia Southern.

Following Thursday's match, the Flames will take on Florida Gulf Coast on Friday at 2 p.m. The Eagles are off to a 2-0 start following 6-1 wins against Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern. Florida Gulf Coast's roster consists of a mix of veteran and youth with a 10-man team of five upperclassmen and five underclassmen.

The Flames conclude their Florida road trip with a showdown against the host, No. 71 Miami, on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Hurricanes are an even 2-2 on the season, dropping two consecutive contest against No. 41 Drake and No. 53 Tulane. Miami's roster consists of two seniors and eight underclassmen. The Hurricanes finished the 2014 spring season with a 12-5 home record and are currently 2-0 at home to begin the 2015 season.

Following this weekend's matchups, the Flames will have a break from competition before heading to Kennesaw, Ga. on Feb. 21 to take on Kennesaw State. Liberty will then face either Xavier or Tennessee Tech on Feb. 22.