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Flames Wrap Up at UVa Classic
Three players advanced to the semifinals of their respective brackets and one doubles team advanced to the finals of its draw, as the Liberty men's tennis team participated at the UVa Classic this past weekend.
Siim Tuus and Wayne Harrell each advanced to the semifinals of the Blue Draw, which was the top bracket on the weekend. Meanwhile, teammate Tristan Stayt did the same in his Red Draw. Doubles duo Giancarlo Lemmi and Harrell moved to the championship match in the Black Draw.
Harrell began his singles competition in the Blue Draw, posting a pair of 6-2 sets to defeat Dmitry Chekhlatyy of Morgan State. The East Windsor, Conn., native then posted a three-set victory over Ben Marks of Norfolk State. After picking up an opening set, 6-3, Marks rebounded with a 6-0 set to level the match. In the deciding set, Harrell claimed the 7-6 victory. In his semifinal match, Harrell fell to No. 1 seed and eventual flight champion, Justin Shane of Virginia, 6-2, 6-4.
"Wayne really played well this weekend against some great competition. His hard work is really paying off as his game rises every week," stated head coach Chris Johnson.
Working in the lower half of the Blue Draw, Tuus held a No. 3 seed for the event. The junior also opened with a 6-2, 6-2 victory, to take down Alfredo Rodriguez of Old Dominion. Tuus then advanced to the semifinals with a 6-2, 7-6 defeat of Charlie Ghriskey of William and Mary. Tuus' run ended there, as he dropped to the third-place match with an injury. Harrell also was pushed to the third-place match, but the pair of Flames did not compete against one another.
Stayt began his semifinal run with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Morgan State's Jannick Tash. The New Zealand native followed the victory by defeating Chris Hasy of Penn State, 6-4, 6-4. In his semifinal matchup, Stayt fell to No. 3 seeded Jesse Kiuru of Maryland.
Also posting a pair of singles victories on the weekend were Giancarlo Lemmi, Dillon Segur, and Shea Thomas. Lemmi picked up an opening round victory in the Red Draw, before being sent to the back draw, where he added one more win on the weekend. Segur and Thomas each posted a pair of wins in the back draws of the Black and Gold Draws, respectively.
In doubles action, which was completed on the first day of the event, Lemmi and Harrell advanced to the finals of the Black Draw. The senior-freshman duo opened with an 8-4 victory over the host Virginia pairing of Dino Dell'Orto and Brian Fang. Next, the teammates took down Anton Andersson and Robert Pietrucha of William and Mary. In an all Big South final, Lemmi and Harrell fell to Radford's pair of Nicholas Sayer and Thomas Dehaen, 8-4.
"This was a great mix of senior leadership and input from our freshmen again this week. Progress as a team is certainly what we are looking for heading into the regional tournament next weekend," stated Johnson on his team's weekend performance.
Liberty's next tournament is the ITA Atlantic Regional, which takes place Oct. 20-23 also in Charlottesville, Va.