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Men's Tennis Continues Strong Fall

October 4, 2009
|  Norfolk, Va.
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Chad Simpson combined with teammate Giancarlo Lemmi to capture the doubles C bracket and reached the finals of the singles C-2 bracket this past weekend.

Chad Simpson combined with teammate Giancarlo Lemmi to capture the doubles C bracket and reached the finals of the singles C-2 bracket this past weekend.

The Liberty men's tennis team continued its solid play this past weekend against a strong field at the Old Dominion Collegiate Invitational.

The Flames posted a combined 19-8 record at the three-day event. Highlighting the weekend were the pairing of Giancarlo Lemmi and Chad Simpson capturing the doubles C bracket, the team of Louis Steyn and Ben Wirth reaching the doubles B bracket final and Wirth and Simpson reaching the finals of their respective singles brackets.

Liberty went 7-3 in doubles play, led by Lemmi and Simpson, who won their four contests to win the doubles C bracket. The combination defeated the George Washington duo of Ken Mkrtchian and Garrett Lockhart, 8-5, in the finals to claim the bracket title.

Steyn and Wirth took their first three matches to move into the finals of the doubles B bracket, including an 8-4 victory over Alex Hanno and Mike Taylor of Villanova in the semifinals. However, the Flames pair fell in the finals to James Madison's Jared Robinson and Greg Vladimirsky, 8-3.

On the singles side, Wirth also reached the final, advancing by winning his first three contests in the C-1 singles bracket. Wirth downed Mauricio Ortiz of Morgan State, 7-6 (6), 6-2 to begin the tournament, and moved into the semifinals with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Dan Solomon of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. In the semifinals, Wirth won a hard-fought 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 match from Old Dominion's Yakov Diskin. Wirth had his run come to an end in the finals, falling to East Carolina's Massimo Mannino, 6-0, 6-3.

Simpson navigated through the C-2 singles bracket with three straight-set victories to reach the finals. After opening with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Hofstra's Josh Levinson, the Liberty senior blanked John Drosick of Villanova, 6-0, 6-0, followed by a 6-2, 6-2 defeat of Sam Barrer of Delaware. Simpson became the bracket's runner-up, dropping the finals to Mkrtchian of George Washington, 6-2, 6-3.

As a team, the six Flames singles players combined for a 12-5 record on the weekend.

Liberty completes its fall tournament schedule in three weeks, when it takes part in the ITA Mideast Regional, Oct. 22-25, in Norfolk, Va.