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Flames Improve to 9-1 with Win Over BYU Hawaii
The Liberty Flames tennis team kicked off its Spring Break trip with a 7-2 victory over the host BYU Hawaii Seasiders, Tuesday night.
Liberty's unprecedented start continues with its sixth win in a row and ninth victory out of 10 matches. BYU Hawaii, who is ranked No. 44 in Division II, drops to 2-3 on season.
Playing a match for the first time this season with a nine-point format, the Flames built a 2-1 lead after concluding doubles competition. Liberty's Shea Thomas and Egon Samaai collected their team-best ninth win of the season, after knocking off Zevhan Zakharov and Martin Chojnacki, 9-8 (7-5), in the No. 1 position.
Siim Tuus and Stan Vaughan downed the Seasiders' Jordan Barlow and Andy Xing in the No. 3 spot, 8-6, while the Flames' No. 2 combo of Jorge Azuero and Dillon Segur dropped their first match of the season, falling to Dai Peng and Wei-Feng Lee, 8-5.
Liberty head coach made a slight adjustment to his singles' lineup, resting Samaai and moving Vaughan up to the No. 5 spot, and inserting Guillem Secanell into the No. 6 position.
Segur recorded the only straight-set victory for the Flames, ousting Lee, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), in the No. 3 spot.
Thomas, Tuus and Vaughan each collected singles wins to improve to 9-1, 8-1 and 8-1, respectively, on the season. Thomas won a third-set tiebreaker against Chojnacki, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8). Tuus collected a super-set tiebreaker in the No. 1 position over Zekharov, 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 1-0 (10-5). Vaughan won the first set versus Xing, 6-2, before dropping the second. The Liberty junior bounced back in the third with a resounding 6-0 victory to claim the match.
Azuero earned the other singles point for the Flames. Despite falling in the first set to Peng, 7-5, the Colombia native remained undefeated in singles tilts this season (7-0), with wins in the final two sets, 6-2, 6-3, to clinch the contest.
Liberty returns to action this evening for a neutral site contest at 5 p.m. (EST) versus No. 63 Idaho.
Libery 7, BYU Hawaii 2
1. Thomas/Samaai (LU) def. Zakharov/Chojnacki (BYUH), 9-8 (7-5)
2. Peng/Lee (BYUH) def. Azuero/Segur (LU), 8-5
3. Tuus/Vaughan (LU) def. Barlow/Xing (BYUH), 8-6
1. Tuus (LU) def. Zakharov (BYUH), 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 1-0 (10-5)
2. Thomas (LU) def. Chojnacki (BYUH), 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-8)
3. Segur (LU) def. Lee (BYUH), 6-3, 7-6 (7-5)
4. Azuero (LU) def. Peng (BYUH), 5-7, 6-2, 6-3
5. Vaughan (LU) def. Xing (BYUH), 6-2, 2-6, 6-0
6. Barlow (BYUH) def. Secanell (LU), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2