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Liberty's Winning Streak Snapped by No. 63 Idaho
The Liberty Flames men's tennis team saw its six-match winning streak snapped by No. 63 Idaho, 5-2, on Wednesday afternoon in a neutral site contest played at the University of Hawaii.
"This was a tough match and we certainly had our chances in singles and doubles," commented Liberty head coach Chris Johnson. "I hate to see this one get away, but our guys fought hard the whole way through."
The Flames first loss in nearly a month drops their record to 9-2 (2-0 Big South) on the season. The Vandals third consecutive victory improves their record to 14-1 overall.
Idaho pulled out victories in two of the three doubles contests to earn the first point of the day. Liberty's Jorge Azuero and Dillon Segur continued their solid play this season in the No. 2 position, winning their eighth match of the season, 8-6, over Marius Cirstea and Filip Fichtel.
However, the Flames were edged in the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions. Shea Thomas and Egon Samaai dropped their first doubles match in seven contests, falling 8-5 to Cristobal Ramos Salazar and Jose Bendeck. Siim Tuus and Stan Vaughan battled back-and-forth with the Vandals' Dmitry Perevoshchikov and Cesar Torres, before losing 8-6.
Singles play for Liberty was highlighted by wins from Dillon Segur and Egon Samaai in the No. 5 and No. 6 positions, respectively. After dropping the first set to Torres, 5-7, Segur rebounded by taking the final two sets, 6-4, 7-5, to up his singles record this season to 7-4. Freshman Samaai continued his stellar play, winning his eighth match of the year in come-from-behind fashion, 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8), versus Ivan Krijanto.
Liberty's No. 1 and No. 2 players, Siim Tuus and Shea Thomas, both lost in the same match for just the second time this season. Tuus fell in straight sets to Perevoshchikov, 6-0, 6-1, while Thomas lost in a tightly contested match, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4, to Cirstea.
Azuero suffered his first singles loss of the season, falling to Bendeck, 6-3, 6-4, in the No. 4 spot. Ramos Salazar downed Vaughan 6-3, 6-4, in the No. 5 position. It was Vaughan's first setback since Feb. 17 at William & Mary.
The Flames conclude their Spring Break trip today when they face Hawaii at 8 p.m. (EST).
Idaho 5, Liberty 2
1. Ramos Salazar/Bendeck (ID) def. Thomas/Samaai (LU), 8-5
2. Azuero/Segur (LU) def. Cirstea/Fichtel (ID), 8-6
3. Perevoshchikov/Torres (ID) def. Tuus/Vaughan (LU), 8-6
1. Perevoshchikov (ID) def. Tuus (LU), 6-0, 6-1
2. Cirstea (ID) def. Thomas (LU), 7-6 (10-8), 6-4
3. Segur (LU) def. Torres (ID), 5-7, 6-4, 7-5
4. Bendeck (ID) def. Azuero (LU), 6-3, 6-4
5. Ramos Salazar (ID) def. Vaughan (LU), 6-3, 6-4
6. Samaai (LU) def. Krijanto (ID), 5-7, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)