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Doubles Point Difference for Gardner-Webb
The setback drops Liberty to 1-2 in Big South play and 11-6 overall. Gardner-Webb moves to 1-3 in conference and 7-13 overall.
The host Bulldogs took matches at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles to capture the doubles point, which later proved to be the deciding point in the match. Evgeny Slesarev and Rafael Altmayer edged the Liberty duo of Clay Cypert and Giancarlo Lemmi in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-5) in the No. 1 doubles contest. The Gardner-Webb combination of Carlos Quijano and Andrew Veeder then put the all important doubles point in the Bulldogs column, with an 8-4 victory over The Flames' Chad Simpson and Gregorio Machado at No. 2. The Liberty team of Louis Steyn and Juan Reyes won the No. 3 doubles contest 6-1, 6-3.
In singles play, the two squads split the six contests. Slesarev took the No. 1 singles match over Cypert in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. The Bulldogs also won the No. 2 singles match in straight sets, as Andrew Veeder defeated Steyn, 6-4, 6-2. Liberty won matches at No. 3 and No. 4 singles to even singles play at two matches for each team. Simpson won in convincing fashion over Altmayer at the No. 3 contest, 6-2, 6-1. Lemmi follow Simpson's lead, downing Quijano 6-1, 6-2 at No. 4.
Gardner-Webb then clinched the overall match win, with a 6-4, 6-2, No. 5 contest victory by Jamie Lawlor over Machado. Liberty's Reyes claimed his team-leading 12th singles win with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Bernthal in the No. 6 spot to close out the match.
The Flames return home along with the women's tennis team, Wednesday, to host East Carolina. Match time at the E.C. Glass High School tennis courts is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.