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Flames Edged by Coastal Carolina
After dropping the doubles point, the Liberty men's tennis team split the six singles contests, resulting in a 4-3 defeat to Coastal Carolina, Sunday afternoon, at the Esbenshade Tennis Courts. Being the Flames' final home match of the season, the match served as senior day, in which Benjamin Wirth and student assistant coach Justin Coache were honored for their time with the program.
With the defeat, the Flames fall to 8-10 on the season, and 1-4 in Big South contests. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina improves to 9-7 and 2-2 in Big South action.
In doubles, the Flames were narrowly edged. Coastal Carolina's lead pair posted the first win, as Peter Billingham and Matt Gordon picked up the 8-5 win over Siim Tuus and Benjamin Wirth. Giancarlo Lemmi and Shea Thomas responded with a win for the Flames at No. 2, defeating Alex Funkhouser and Dorian Sovic, 8-5. In the deciding match, the Chanticleers' Yusuke Kusuda and Danny Heidecker edged out Tristan Stayt and Mandeep Yadev, 9-8 to secure the doubles point.
In singles, Tuus tied the overall match by taking the lead contest, 7-5, 6-1 over Gordon. After the Chanticleers took the lead with a victory at the No. 2 position, Mandeep Yadev was the first Flame to claim a win in one of four matches that went on to a deciding third set. Yadev dropped his opening set, 6-4 in the No. 5 match with Sovic, but bounced back to win, 6-1, 6-3 in the final two.
Lemmi claimed a third singles win for the Flames, taking the No. 4 match, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 over Heidecker to give the Flames a 3-2 lead.
However, the Chanticleers claimed the final two matches to pick up the conference win. Funkhouser outlasted Stayt, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in the No. 3 match, while Wirth was taken down by Billingham, 6-4, 6-7, 6-0.
With two matches left on the slate for 2011, Liberty's men next face Averett on Tuesday in a contests slated for a noon start. They then wrap up the regular season on Saturday against UNC Asheville. Start time for the Big South matchup is 11 a.m.
Coastal Carolina 4, Liberty 3
1. Billingham/Gordon (CCU) def. Tuus/Wirth (LU) 8-5
2. Lemmi/Thomas (LU) def. Funkhouser/Sovic (LU) 8-5
3. Kusuda/Heidecker (CCU) def. Stayt/Yadav (LU) 9-8
1. Tuus (LU) def. Gordon (CCU) 7-5, 6-1
2. Kusuda (CCU) def. Thomas (LU) 6-2, 6-1
3. Funkhouser (CCU) def. Stayt (LU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
4. Lemmi (LU) def. Heidecker (CCU) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
5. Yadav (LU) def. Yadav (CCU) 4-6, 6-1, 6-3
6. Billingham (CCU) def. Wirth (LU) 6-4, 6-7, 6-0