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Liberty Collects Home Win Over Eastern Kentucky, 6-1
The Liberty Flames tennis team collected its fifth win of the season on Saturday, defeating three-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Eastern Kentucky 6-1 at the Sports Racket.
Liberty is off to its best six-match start to a season (5-1) since 1997, when the Flames also began the year 5-1. The win also improves Liberty to 3-0 at home this season. Eastern Kentucky falls to 5-8 on the year with the loss.
After the Colonels' Lucas Smets and Jan Dombrowski defeated Liberty's Siim Tuus and Stan Vaughan in the No. 3 spot, 8-5, the Flames clinched the doubles point with a victory in the No. 2 position. Dillon Segur and Jorge Azuero remained perfect at 4-0 in doubles matches this season, following their 8-4 win against Joao Maio and Daridge Saidi.
The Flames extended their advantage to 3-0 with back-to-back convincing wins in the top two singles spots. Liberty's one-two punch of Tuus and Thomas improved to a combined 12-0 on the season in singles tilts. Tuus defeated Saidi, 6-1, 6-1, before Thomas posted an identical score in a win over De La Llera.
Eastern Kentucky's lone point of the afternoon came when Alvaro knocked off Segur in the No. 3 position, 7-6, 6-4.
Azuero secured Liberty's fifth victory of the year with a straight-set 7-6 (6-4), 6-4 ousting of Smets in the No. 4 spot.
Samaai battled for three sets with Maio before defeating the Colonels' No. 5 player 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) for his fifth singles win of the year.
Vaughan capped the match with his fourth win of the season, a 3-6, 6-1, 10-7, triumph over Florian Graskamp in the No. 6 position.
"This was a great win for our guys today," stated Liberty head coach Chris Johnson. "Eastern Kentucky has a history of winning seasons and is very well coached. We had a great week of practice and it certainly showed today."
Liberty finishes the weekend with a non-conference match against Guilford tomorrow, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Hershey Tennis Courts.
Liberty 6, Eastern Kentucky 1
1. Thomas/Samaai (LU) def. De La Llera/Alvaro (EKU), 8-0
2. Segur/Azuero (LU) def. Maio/Saidi (EKU), 8-4
3. Smets/Dombrowski (EKU) def. Tuus/Vaughan (LU), 8-5
1. Tuus (LU) def. Saidi (EKU), 6-1, 6-1
2. Thomas (LU) def. De La Llera (EKU), 6-1, 6-1
3. Alvaro (EKU) def. Segur (LU), 7-6, 6-4
4. Azuero (LU) def. Smets (EKU), 7-6 (6-4), 6-4
5. Samaai (LU) def. Maio (EKU), 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5)
6. Vaughan (LU) def. Graskamp (EKU), 3-6, 6-1, 10-7