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Flames Blank Longwood 7-0 in Big South Opener
The Liberty Flames tennis squad began Big South Conference play with a convincing 7-0 sweep of the visiting Longwood Lancers on Wednesday afternoon inside the Sports Racket.
Liberty continues its unprecedented start, improving to 7-1 (1-0 Big South) on the season and 15-4 all-time against the Lancers. The win marks the Flames' fifth 7-0 shutout of the year. Longwood drops to 3-5 (0-2 Big South) overall.
The Flames made quick work of the Lancers in doubles play, taking each of the matches to collect the point.
The Flames finished off the doubles sweep when Shea Thomas and Egon Samaai ousted Giorgi Khmiadashvili and Dan Elston 8-4 in the No. 1 spot. Thomas and Samaai upped their doubles record to a team-best 7-1 with the win.
After taking a break from singles play on Sunday versus Guilford, Tuus returned to the No. 1 position and collected a straight-set victory over Khmiadashvili, 6-4, 6-1 to remain perfect on the season at 7-0.
Azuero followed up Tuus' win with a 6-4, 6-1 victory in the No. 4 position over Kelleher to push Liberty's lead to 3-0. With the victory, Azuero's singles record remains unblemished at 5-0.
The Flames clinched the victory on the afternoon, after Samaai collected his sixth victory of the season with a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Johnson in the No. 5 spot. In the No. 3 position, Segur defeated Becker, 6-4, 6-2, for his fifth victory of the year.
Thomas delivered his team-leading eighth singles win of the season with a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) ousting of Elston in the No. 2 spot.
Vaughan completed the sweep for Liberty with his sixth singles victory of the season. The junior downed Fudge 6-1, 6-4, in the No. 6 position.
"Our guys now have a lot of momentum going into our match with UNC Asheville this weekend", commented Liberty head coach Chris Johnson. "We continue to execute well, but it's the big heart the guys continue to bring each match that has earned us such a great start."
The Flames continue Big South play on Friday when they travel to face UNC Asheville, beginning at 1 p.m.
Liberty 7, Longwood 0
1. Thomas/Samaai (LU) def. Khmiadashvili/Elston (LW), 8-3
2. Segur/Azuero (LU) def. Kelleher/Becker (LW), 8-0
3. Tuus/Vaughan (LU) def. Johnson/Fudge (LW), 8-4
1. Tuus (LU) def. Kmiadashvili (LW), 6-4, 6-1
2. Thomas (LU) def. Elston (LW), 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
3. Segur (LU) def. Becker (LW), 6-4, 6-2
4. Azuero (LU) def. Kelleher (LW), 6-4, 6-1
5. Samaai (LU) def. Johnson (LW), 6-3, 6-1
6. Vaughan (LU) def. Fudge (LW), 6-1, 6-4