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Run Ends for No. 6 Seeded Flames
Despite securing the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead, the No. 6 seeded Liberty men's tennis team fell to No. 2 seed and No. 64 ranked Radford, Friday evening, in the second semifinal match of the 2011 Big South Men's Tennis Championship.
Rain in the Rock Hill, S.C., area, where Winthrop University is hosting the event, forced all tournament matches inside to the Charlotte Indoor Tennis Courts. This led to later start times than originally planned.
With the defeat, Liberty's season comes to an end with a record of 10-12 following the program's second trip ever to the conference's semifinal event.
Radford improves to 21-3 on the season, secures its school record 17th-straight win and advances to face Winthrop in the championship match, tomorrow. Winthrop defeated UNC Asheville, 4-1, in the other semifinal matchup earlier in the day.
The Flames started strongly in doubles, edging out two matches to claim the first point up for grabs. Siim Tuus and Benjamin Wirth defeated Ivan Salec and Thomas Dehaen, 8-5, in the lead match, while No. 3 duo Tristan Stayt and Mandeep Yadav took down Nicholas Sayer and Joe Mills, 8-6. The Highlanders claimed the No. 2 doubles contest.
However, once play turned to singles, Radford was able to overcome its early deficit. Each of the first four matches to go final went in favor of the Highlanders, clinching the victory for the No. 2 seeded squad. Salec, who is ranked No. 115 in the nation, avenged his doubles loss by defeating Tuus in the No. 1 contest, 6-0, 6-1.
In the No. 3 match, Joe Mills beat out the Flames' Shea Thomas with a pair of 6-4 sets. Igor Ogrizek and Stijn Meulemans rounded out the singles victories for Radford, as Ogrizek defeated Giancarlo Lemmi, 6-0, 6-3 and Meulemans overtook Yadav, 6-2, 6-1.
Radford 4, Liberty 1
1. TUUS, Siim/WIRTH, Benjamin (LU) def. SALEC, Ivan/DEHAEN, Thomas (RU) 8-5
2. OGRIZEK, Igor/MEULEMANS, Stijn (RU) def. THOMAS, Shea/LEMMI, Giancarlo (LU) 8-3
3. STAYT, Tristan/YADAV, Mandeep (LU) def. SAYER, Nicholas/MILLS, Joe (RU) 8-6
1. SALEC, Ivan (RU) def. TUUS, Siim (LU) 6-0, 6-1
2. STAYT, Tristan (LU) def. SAYER, Nicholas (RU) unfinished
3. MILLS, Joe (RU) def. THOMAS, Shea (LU) 6-4, 6-4
4. OGRIZEK, Igor (RU) def. LEMMI, Giancarlo (LU) 6-0, 6-3
5. MEULEMANS, Stijn (RU) def. YADAV, Mandeep (LU) 6-2, 6-1
6. DEHAEN, Thomas (RU) vs. WIRTH, Benjamin (LU) unfinished