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Spring Schedule Announced for Men's Tennis
After having just three home matches last spring, the Liberty men's tennis schedule is highlighted by eight matches in Lynchburg for the spring 2012 campaign, as announced by head coach Chris Johnson. The home slate includes hosting four of the Flames' seven Big South Conference contests.
Liberty's first dual match of 2012 will come on Jan. 26 when the Flames take on Bluefield State at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
The next two matches for Liberty's men will take place at the Sports Racket in Lynchburg, as the team will host Richmond and Averett, Feb. 3 and 4. The facility, which has hosted Liberty matches in the past, has gone through extensive improvements since Sherwin Cook purchased the long-time Lynchburg tennis facility and donated it to Liberty.
After traveling to face Longwood (Feb. 8), the Flames will have a brief southern swing, competing against East Carolina and Georgia Southern on back-to-back days, Feb. 10 and 11.
Liberty's first Big South match will come on Feb. 25, as the team will travel to Conway, S.C., to take on Coastal Carolina.
The Flames then take their game to the Midwest for a pair of dual matches, facing off with Oral Roberts and Oklahoma State on consecutive days, Feb. 27 and 28. The contest with Oklahoma State serves as the program's first against a Big 12 program.
Liberty will open March by facing UMBC (March 7) and Coker College (March 10), both on the road, before meeting NJIT and Chicago State as part of the team's spring break trip to the state of Florida.
Liberty's men will host their first match at the newly completed Cook Tennis Center on March 18, welcoming Gardner-Webb for a face-off between Big South opponents.
After traveling to face James Madison (March 20), Campbell (March 23), who will make their tennis debut in the Big South, and Presbyterian College (March 25), the Flames will begin a stretch of five-consecutive home matches to end the season.
The first pair of contests will see the Flames step out of conference, welcoming Morgan State and Norfolk State to the Hill City on March 26 and 28.
Finishing with three Big South matches, Liberty will host Winthrop (March 31), UNC Asheville (April 6) and Radford (April 12) to close out the regular season.
The spring season then culminates with the Big South Men's Tennis Championships, which will take place in Asheville, N.C., April 19-21. The opening rounds of the NCAA Championships are then scheduled for May 11-13, and the finals May 17-28.
The Flames are coming off their third-consecutive season with at least 10 victories, while also making their second trip in program history to the Big South Championship's semifinal round. The core of the team returns, including Giancarlo Lemmi, Tristan Stayt, Shea Thomas and Siim Tuus, a two-time Big South all-conference member in singles.
This fall, head coach Chris Johnson brought in three new student-athletes—Jorge Azuero, Wayne Harrell and Dillon Segur. The trio of newcomers earned a No. 19 ranking on the Tennis Recruiting Network's Top-25 Mid-Major recruiting classes listing.