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Flames to Open Fall Slate in Greensboro
The Liberty men's tennis team is scheduled to begin its fall tournament schedule this weekend, taking part in UNCG's three-day Fall Invitational which starts on Friday. The Spartans' tournament is the first of five tournaments, which the Flames will compete in this fall.
After the opening weeks of practice, Liberty head tennis coach Chris Johnson is looking forward to the first competition in the new season. "Our guys have worked really hard the first few weeks and are ready to prove themselves this weekend," stated Johnson.
After opening in North Carolina, the remainder of the fall tournament schedule will see the Flames compete in some of the toughest events in the country.
Liberty will travel south once again in two weeks to participate in America's oldest fall collegiate tennis tournament, the Southern Intercollegiate Invitational in Athens, Ga. Georgia hosts the event, Sept. 23-26. Next, the Flames are scheduled to compete in the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., Oct. 1-9.
Liberty then finishes its fall tournament schedule in Charlottesville, Va., on back-to-back weeks, competing in the UVa Fall Classic, Oct. 14-16, and then the ITA Atlantic Regional, Oct. 18-22.
Looking forward to the 2011-12 season, Liberty has a lot to build on following its third-consecutive season with at least ten dual match victories. The Flames return six student-athletes who competed in at least 12 singles matches last spring, while also adding three new names to the roster.
"We have a good mix of new talent and experienced returners. I am really looking forward to getting the fall season started," commented Johnson.
Junior Siim Tuus returns for the Flames after being named to the Big South's all-conference listing in singles for the second consecutive year. Tuus posted 12 wins during the spring, with 11 of those coming in the No. 1 position in the Flames' lineup.
Meanwhile, Giancarlo Lemmi returns to the courts as Liberty's all-time wins leader in singles play, with 55 career victories. Lemmi is second on Liberty's all-time wins list for doubles, with 58 career wins, just five victories behind former teammate Chad Simpson.
In addition to experienced players, Johnson brings in a recruiting class which tennisrecruiting.net ranked No. 19 among mid-majors, as freshmen Jorge Azuero, Wayne Harrell and Dillon Segur look forward to competing in their first collegiate tennis events this fall.