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Flames Blank Bluefield in Season Opener
The Liberty men's tennis team blanked Bluefield State, 7-0, Thursday to clinch a season-opening victory at the Greenbrier Resort. After taking all three of the doubles matches, each of the six Flames won their respective singles matches in straight sets.
In the leadoff doubles match, Siim Tuus and Tristan Stayt wrapped up an 8-2 victory over Vlad Catlan and Niklas Sparr. The sophomore-freshman combo of Shea Thomas and Dillon Segur took their No. 2 doubles match by the same 8-2 margin, defeating Shikhar Kapur and Conner Pickering.
Giancarlo Lemmi became Liberty's all-time wins leader in doubles matches, when he and partner Wayne Harrell earned an 8-6 win over Piotr Kruk and Gautam Sreeram in the No. 3 doubles match. The victory for Lemmi is his 64th, which passed former teammate Chad Simpson in the record book.
After their success in doubles, the Flames continued to roll in singles play.
Tuus claimed victory in the lead match once again. The junior only dropped two games, en route to his 6-2, 6-0 sweep over Kapur.
Thomas and Stayt continued the momentum in the No. 2 and No. 3 matches, respectively. Thomas defeated former teammate Kruk, 6-1, 6-3, while Stayt never dropped a game on his way to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Catlan.
In the No. 4 match, Lemmi controlled Pickering, winning easily, 6-4, 6-1.
A pair of freshmen Flames held down the final two singles spots, with both Segur and Harrell earning their first collegiate dual victories. Segur defeated Sparr, 7-6, 6-1 in the No. 5 spot, while Harrell nearly shut out Sreeram, 6-1, 6-0.
"I was happy with our play today," stated head coach Chris Johnson. "We went from a little nervous to playing well very quickly. Our new guys were very impressive, but the real highlight was Tristan Stayt. It was great to see him playing so well."
The Flames now have a week to prepare for their next match. Liberty will host Richmond, next Friday at 4 p.m. at the Sports Racket in Lynchburg.
Liberty 7, Bluefield State 0
1. Tuus/Stayt (LU) def. Catlan/Sparr (BLUE), 8-2
2. Thomas/Segur (LU) def. Kapur/Pickering (BLUE), 8-2
3. Lemmi/Harrell (LU) def. Kruk/Sreeram (BLUE), 8-6
1. Tuus (LU) def. Kapur (BLUE), 6-2, 6-0
2. Thomas (LU) def. Kruk (BLUE), 6-1, 6-3
3. Stayt (LU) def. Catlan (BLUE), 6-0, 6-0
4 Lemmi (LU) def. Pickering (BLUE), 6-4, 6-1
5. Segur (LU) def. Sparr (BLUE), 7-6, 6-1
6. Harrell (LU) def. Sreeram (BLUE), 6-1, 6-0