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Liberty Posts Most Wins Since 1990
The Flames men's tennis team ran its victory total to 12, the most by a Liberty team since 1990, with a 5-2 victory over the Presbyterian Blue Hose in a Big South match, Monday afternoon, indoors at the Sports Racket.
With its win in its last regular season match, Liberty moves to 12-9 on the year, 2-4 in Big South play. Presbyterian drops to 5-13 and finishes its first season of conference play at 1-5.
The Flames' 12 wins are the second most in the 23-year history of the program. The 1990 Liberty squad recorded the most victories with a 16-5 mark. Current Liberty Head Coach Chris Johnson has now had a hand in the two highest victory totals in school history, as the Liberty graduate was a freshman on the 1990 team.
The Flames opened the contest by taking the doubles point. Liberty won the first doubles match completed, as Juan Reyes and Louis Steyn defeated Andrew Lee and Brad Luciuh in the No. 3 contest, 8-3. Presbyterian squared doubles at one match apiece with an 8-3 victory by Patrick Fediuk and Michael Nicol over Chad Simpson and Gregorio Machado in No. 2 doubles.
In the point deciding contest, the Liberty pairing of Clay Cypert and Giancarlo Lemmi ran their season win total to 13 with an 8-4 triumph over Matthew Martin and Zachary Sprouse, giving the Flames a 1-0 advantage.
In singles, Liberty used victories in contests two through four to put the overall match away. Lemmi and Simpson opened singles with victories for the Flames to put them one win shy of closing out the overall match. Lemmi took his No. 2 contest with a 6-3, 6-3, straight-set victory over Nicol. Simpson defeated Fediuk, also in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, at No. 3 singles.
Presbyterian kept Liberty from clinching the match with wins in the next two matches completed Martin picked up a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 triumph over Cypert at No. 1. Lee followed for the Blue Hose with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Octavio Costa at No. 5 singles
Steyn then closed the match out for Liberty at No. 4 singles, rallying after dropping the first set for the victory. The junior fell in the first set against Sprouse, 6-1, before sending the contest to a third set with a 6-4 win in the second set. In the deciding third set, Steyn clinched the contest and overall match victory with a victory in a 7-6 (3) tiebreaker.
Reyes completed the match with his team-high 14th singles triumph. The junior defeated Mark Cannatelli in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
Liberty travels to Rock Hill, S.C., Thursday, for the Big South Men's Tennis Championship. The Flames, the No. 5 seed, will meet the No. 4 seed Gardner-Webb Bulldogs at the Winthrop Tennis Courts at 10:30 a.m.