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Flames Drop Heartbreaker to Campbell, 4-3, in Big South Quarterfinals
The No. 7 seeded Liberty Flames jumped out to a 3-0 advantage against No. 2 seed Campbell, but were not able to hold on for the upset, as the Camels rallied for a 4-3 win on Thursday afternoon at the Winthrop Memorial Tennis Courts. The Flames conclude their season at 11-11 overall. Campbell improves to 14-6 and advances to tomorrow's semifinal round where it will face the winner of this evening's matchup between No. 3 seed Presbyterian College and No. 6 seed Gardner Webb.
The Flames claimed the doubles tally after collecting wins in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Siim Tuus and Guillem Secanell avenged a loss earlier this season to Steven Billington and Rik Van Gerwen by defeating the Camels' duo, 8-3, in the No. 3 spot. Dillon Segur and Jorge Azuero secured the point for Liberty with an 8-6 ousting of David Clavera and Josep Baro in the No. 2 position.
Liberty quickly extended its lead to 3-0 with victories in the first two singles spots. Tuus concluded his stellar career for the Flames with a commanding 6-3, 6-0 defeat of newly crowned Big South Player of the Year Guillen. Big South All-Conference honoree Thomas followed with a straight-set 6-4, 6-1 victory against Rossingnon.
Trailing 3-0, Campbell mounted a comeback, beginning with a win from Billington over Segur in the No. 3 position, 6-4, 6-1.
In the No. 6 spot, freshman Samaai dropped the first set to Van Gerwen, 3-6, but battled back to take the second frame, 6-3. Van Gerwen pulled the match out in the third set, winning 6-1 to pull the Camels within one, 3-2. Secanell also rallied from a one-set deficit against Baro to force a third frame in the No. 5 position. The Liberty freshman was not able to complete the comeback, as Baro took the third set and the match, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0.
Just like it did in the regular-season matchup between the Flames and the Camels, Thursday's contest came down to the final singles pairing. Azuero and Clavera battled back-and-forth with Clavera taking the first set, 7-6 (4-2), before Azuero captured the second, 7-5. Clavera edged the Liberty sophomore in the third set, 6-4, to clinch the match for Campbell.
Campbell 4, Liberty 3
1. Thomas/Samaai (LU) vs. Guillen/Rossingnon (CU), 6-6
2. Segur/Azuero (LU) def. Clavera/Baro (CU), 8-6
3. Tuus/Secanell (LU) def. Billington/Van Gerwen (CU), 8-3
1. Tuus (LU) def. Guillen (CU), 6-3, 6-0
2. Thomas (LU) def. Rossingnon (CU), 6-1, 6-4
3. Billington (CU) def. Segur (LU), 6-4, 6-1
4. Clavera (CU) def. Azuero (LU), 7-6 (4-2), 5-7, 6-4
5. Baro (CU) def. Secanell (LU), 6-2, 5-7, 6-0
6. Van Gerwen (CU) def. Samaai (LU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1