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Men's Tennis Set for Three Matches

March 22, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Benjamin Wirth and Siim Tuus have won their last eight doubles matches at the lead position in Liberty's lineup.

After posting a 3-1 record in its matches over spring break, the Liberty men's tennis team is set for three more contests this week, all of which take place on the road.

The Flames begin with a Commonwealth, non-conference matchup against James Madison, Wednesday at 2 p.m. before finishing off with a pair of Big South matches in North Carolina. On Saturday the Flames visit Gardner-Webb for a 10 a.m. start and then finish the week against UNC Asheville, which is slated for a noon start.

The Flames found momentum in Florida, as they won each of their three contests handily. They opened with a 7-0 win over Colgate, before wrapping up the trip with a 6-1 defeat of Bucknell and a 7-0 sweep of NJIT. The three wins upped the team's winning streak to five contests, before they closed the week by dropping a road contest against Georgia Southern, 4-3. The Flames' record currently stands at 7-7, including a 1-1 mark in Big South action.

Doubles have been impressive for the Flames this season, posting a 29-13 overall record to result in dropping only four doubles points. Liberty has won its last eight doubles points and holds a record of 23-1 in doubles matches during that stretch. The pairings of Siim Tuus and Benjamin Wirth (No. 1) and Tristan Stayt and Mandeep Yadev (No. 3) have paced the Flames' doubles effort, with both duos winning their last eight contests.

Meanwhile, in singles, Giancarlo Lemmi has won six-straight contests, all coming in the No. 4 spot in Liberty's lineup. Lemmi currently leads the squad in singles wins with eight, but Shea Thomas, Stayt, Tuus and Yadev are close behind, each holding seven singles wins.

The Flames' first match of the week comes against James Madison, who is 6-5 overall this season and 0-2 in the Colonial Athletic Conference. The only common opponent between the Flames and Dukes is Old Dominion. Both programs dropped contests to the Monarchs in Norfolk. Liberty fell 6-1, while James Madison lost 5-2.

Tommi Nissinen has paced the Dukes as of late, winning his last five singles matches, mostly in the No. 5 spot. He and Greg Vladimirsky lead the team in dual wins, notching eight victories apiece. In doubles, duos of Vladimirsky and Ryan Pool and Matt King and Bertrand Moulin lead the team in wins, with five each.

On the weekend, Liberty will square off with two Big South opponents in North Carolina.

Gardner-Webb is 7-8 this season, with a 1-1 mark in Big South matches. Their conference win came against Presbyterian College (5-2), a team the Flames swept, 7-0. The Runnin' Bulldogs have won two matches in a row and also host UNC Asheville on Wednesday, before welcoming the Flames to Boiling Springs, Saturday.

Roman Piftor leads the team in singles victories, posting a 9-3 record on the year. Piftor has mainly held down the No. 5 spot in Gardner-Webb's lineup, going 8-3 in that position. His other win came at No. 4. Andrew Carter and Andrew Veeder lead the squad in doubles with an 8-4 record. They have won eight doubles contests in a row, coming at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. If both Carter and Veeder and the Flames' Tuus and Wirth win their midweek doubles contests, each pair's nine-match streak could be on the line.

Capping the weekend, Liberty faces UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs are 6-6 this season, including a 0-1 mark in Big South matchups. They have two more conference contests before hosting the Flames on Sunday, as they face Gardner-Webb, Wednesday, and host Coastal Carolina, Saturday.