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Flames Down James Madison, 5-2
The Liberty men's tennis team made it two-for-two on its spring break tour of South Carolina, defeating the James Madison Dukes, 5-2, on Thursday morning in a neutral site contest in Hilton Head.
After defeating the Dukes for the first time since 2005, the Flames improve to 6-6 overall this season heading into Big South play. With the loss, James Madison falls to 4-7 overall.
For the fifth time this season, Liberty opened the match by securing the doubles tally. Egon Samaai and Dillon Segur improved to a team-best 5-2 with a commanding 8-3 victory in the No. 2 position over the Dukes' Niels Kathol and Brett Moorhead. After James Madison notched a win in the No. 3 spot, No. 80-ranked Shea Thomas and Jorge Azuero clinched the doubles point for the Flames with a tight victory at No. 1 versus Miljan Ruzic and Robert Stirling, 8-7 (7-0). The win pulled Thomas to within one victory of tying Giancarlo Lemmi for the most career doubles wins in program history.
Thomas pushed Liberty's lead to 2-0 with a straight-set win in the No. 1 singles position. The senior collected his seventh victory of the year by defeating Stirling, 6-2, 6-2.
The Dukes' Sebastian Salinas knocked off Azuero, 6-2, 6-1, to pull within 2-1, but the Flames quickly responded with a win in the No. 3 position from Samaai. The sophomore ousted Moorhead, 6-4, 6-4, matching Thomas for the team lead with seven singles victories.
Stan Vaughan sealed the match for Liberty with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Kathol in the No. 6 spot. Segur notched the Flames' fifth point with a three-set win against Maxi Branth at No. 5, 6-2, 0-6, 6-2.
The contest concluded with a win by James Madison in the No. 4 position, making the final score 5-2 in favor of Liberty.
The Flames kick off Big South competition on Saturday with a road contest at Presbyterian College. Match time versus the Blue Hose is slated for 10 a.m.
Liberty 5, James Madison 2
1. Shea Thomas/Jorge Azuero (LU) def. Miljan Ruzic/Robert Stirling (JMU), 8-7 (7-0)
2. Egon Samaai/Dillon Segur (LU) def. Niels Kathol/Brett Moorhead (JMU), 8-3
3. Sebastian Salinas/Maxi Branth (JMU) def.Stan Vaughan/Alejandro Llamas (LU), 8-3
1. Shea Thomas (LU) def. Robert Stirling (JMU), 6-2, 6-2
2. Sebastian Salinas (JMU) def. Jorge Azuero (LU), 6-2, 6-1
3. Egon Samaai (LU) def. Brett Moorhead (JMU), 6-4, 6-4
4. Miljan Ruzic (JMU) def. Alejandro Llamas (LU), 7-6 (7-3), 6-1
5. Dillon Segur (LU) def. Maxi Branth (JMU), 6-2, 0-6, 6-2
6. Stan Vaughan (LU) def. Niels Kathol (JMU), 6-4, 6-1