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Flames Drop Big South Match Against Bulldogs

March 5, 2016
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Liberty men's tennis squad dropped a 4-3 decision to UNC Asheville on Saturday at the Cook Tennis Center.

With the loss, Liberty falls to 5-6 and 1-1 in Big South action. Following the victory, the Bulldogs improve to 5-3 and 1-0 in conference play.

Liberty claimed the doubles point, winning two of the three doubles matches. The Flames fell behind 1-0 in doubles play after Eddie Gutierrez and Alex Poynter dropped a 6-1 decision to Henry Patten and Josh Swindler.

Liberty then bounced back and won the doubles point from the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles slots. Sam Matheson and Egon Samaai bested Alex Croker and Brett Landau to even the doubles point score at 1-1.

David Bush and Diego Castano secured the early 1-0 advantage for the Flames, defeating Reid Dillon and Thomas Orestis-Panoulas by a score of 6-4.

Asheville knotted the match at one apiece when Patten bested Samaai in straight sets from the No. 2 singles position, 6-0, 6-1.

Liberty regained the lead when Bush notched a straight-set victory from the No. 6 singles slot. The Kentucky native defeated Landau, 6-2, 6-0 to give the Flames a 2-1 advantage.

The Bulldogs tied the contest once again, this time from the No. 4 singles slot. Swindler bested Gutierrez in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1 to even the score at two apiece.

Matheson improved to 9-0 in singles action this season after besting Croker 7-5, 6-2 to give the Flames a 3-2 cushion with two matches remaining.

Asheville rebounded and tied the match for the third time, before pulling away in the final singles position to claim the 4-3 victory. Olly Cull bested Castano in straight sets 7-6(6), 6-1 before Orestis-Panoulas sealed the match with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Poynter in the No. 3 singles spot.

The Flames return to action on Wednesday when they take on UC Irvine at 5 p.m. in Irvine, Calif. Liberty will then square off against UC Riverside at 1 p.m. on Thursday in Irvine, Calif.

UNC Asheville 4, Liberty 3

  1. Matheson/Samaai (LU) def. Croker/Landau (UNCA), 6-4
  2. Patten/Swindler (UNCA) def. Gutierrez/Poynter (LU), 6-1
  3. Bush/Castano (LU) def. Dillon/Orestis-Panoulas (UNCA), 6-4


  1. Matheson (LU) def. Croker (UNCA), 7-5, 6-2
  2. Patten (UNCA) def. Samaai (LU), 6-0, 6-1
  3. Orestis-Panoulas (UNCA) def. Poynter (LU), 7-5, 6-2
  4. Swindler (UNCA) def. Gutierrez (LU), 7-5, 6-1
  5. Cull (UNCA) def. Castano (LU), 7-6(8-6), 6-1
  6. Bush (LU) def. Landau (UNCA), 6-2, 6-0