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Flames Produce Quality Opening Weekend
The Liberty men's tennis team started its fall tournament season this past weekend in Greensboro, N.C., posting a 28-17 combined record in the UNCG Fall Invitational. Wayne Harrell and Tristan Stayt were unbeaten in singles play on the weekend, while Siim Tuus and Stanislav Vaughan highlighted doubles play.
Playing in the A4 draw, freshman Harrell won three straight-set matches, including a 6-4, 6-2 win over No. 2 seeded Garrison Kinney of Campbell, to advance to the final. Meanwhile, No. 3 seeded Stayt advanced in the top half of the draw with three straight-set wins of his own. Stayt entered the final by knocking off top-seeded Jimmy Rouche of UNCG, 6-2, 6-3. With the Flames not competing against each other in the final match, Harrell picked up his fourth win on the weekend in an exhibition match.
Dillon Segur, another freshman on head coach Chris Johnson's squad, also put together a solid weekend in singles play, competing in the A3 draw. The Winston-Salem, N.C., native won his opening match in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, against Gardner-Webb's Brendan Dempsey, before falling in a tough three-set match to top-seeded Virginia Tech opponent, Kevin Castellow, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5). Segur then breezed through the consolation bracket, picking up three straight-set wins, ending his first collegiate tennis weekend with a 4-1 record.
Vaughan and Matt Slamecka also produced winning singles records in the event, going 2-1 in the A3 and A4 draws, respectively.
In doubles play, Tuus and Vaughan led the Flames, competing in the A Doubles draw. The pair opened the weekend with a swift 8-2 win over the No. 4 seeded duo Jonas Brobeck and Matt Waissen of UNC Asheville. The junior-sophomore combination then picked up 8-5 and 8-6 wins to advance to the finals, where they came up short, 8-4, against the No. 3 seeded pairing, David Clavera and Fernando Guillen of Campbell.
"This was a great start to the fall. We had some very good doubles play and also saw some great potential in our new players. I am looking forward to watching their games develop this fall," stated Johnson after his team's first weekend.
The Flames return to action next Friday, when they are scheduled to compete in the Southern Intercollegiate Championships in Athens, Ga.