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Flames Take 7th Straight for First BSC Win

March 18, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Siim Tuus recorded his ninth singles win of the season, Sunday, helping lift Liberty over Gardner-Webb, 5-2.

Several plateaus were reached for the Liberty men's tennis team, Sunday afternoon, as the squad took down Gardner-Webb, 5-2, at the Hershey Tennis Courts.

The victory is the Flames' seventh straight win, improving their overall record to 10-3 for the season.  With its 10th win of the year, Liberty has won double-digit matches each of the last four years, which is a program best.  The win also marked the team's first Big South win of 2012, improving to 1-1 in league play.

Meanwhile, Gardner-Webb drops to 5-9 with the loss and 0-2 in conference action.

The Flames broke out to a quick 1-0 lead, taking all three doubles matches in less than an hour's time.  Tristan Stayt and Shea Thomas improved to 5-0 as a duo in the No. 2 slot, downing Ernest Alberch and Matthew Parker, 8-1.

Shortly after, Siim Tuus and Giancarlo Lemmi claimed the lead doubles match, 8-1, over Korhan Ates and Adam Knuttson.  The win also keeps the experienced pair unbeaten, at 6-0 in No. 1 matches.
Wayne Harrell and Mandeep Yadav wrapped up the sweep with another commanding win in the No. 3 position, defeating Joao Poli and Brendan Dempsey, 8-3.

In singles action, Gardner-Webb tried to sweep away the Flames' momentum, as they took the opening set in three of the six matches.  However, a pair of straight-set wins by Liberty helped the hosts to close out the match early on.

Freshman Dillon Segur captured the first singles match of the afternoon by outhitting Poli in the No. 5 match, 6-2, 6-4.  The win is Segur's seventh of the year.

Next to go final was the No. 2 match, as Thomas picked up another straight-set win to give Liberty a 3-0 edge.  The sophomore defeated Alberch, 6-1, 6-2, en route to his seventh win of the season.

The Runnin' Bulldogs posted their first team point of the afternoon with a win in the No. 4 match, but another Liberty freshman closed the door for good with the match-clinching victory.

Harrell took his No. 6 contest in straight sets for the Flames' fourth team point.  After breezing through the first set, 6-0, Harrell received more opposition from Dempsey in the second, but fought from behind to win, 7-5.

The lead singles contest went to a ten-point tie breaker for a third set, with the team match already decided.  Tuus dropped his opening set, 6-3, but rallied back to win the second, 7-5.  The junior then strung a long stretch of points together in the rally-scoring tie breaker, to win 10-4.

The Bulldogs then took the No. 3 match to get their second point of the day.

"This is a solid win for our program," remarked Liberty Head Coach Chris Johnson.  "Hats go off to our freshman recruiting class for consistently coming through with some big wins in key positions.  Dillon Segur took the first singles win today and really changed the momentum of the match."

The freshman class which Johnson refers to (Harrell, Segur and Jorge Azuero), is a combined 20-7 in singles play this season.  In doubles, the trio combines for a 14-5 mark.

Liberty will look to continue its solid play on Tuesday, when the Flames travel to Harrisonburg, Va., to take on James Madison.  Match time is slated for 2 p.m.

Liberty 5, Gardner-Webb 2
DOUBLES
1. Tuus/Lemmi (LU) def. Ates/Knuttson (GWU), 8-2
2. Stayt/Thomas (LU) def. Alberch/Parker (GWU), 8-1
3. Harrell/Yadav (LU) def. Poli/Dempsey (GWU), 8-3

SINGLES
1. Tuus (LU) def. Ates (GWU), 3-6, 7-5, 10-4
2. Thomas (LU) def. Alberch (GWU), 6-1, 6-2
3. Knuttson (GWU) def. Lemmi (LU), 7-5, 7-5
4. Piftor (GWU) def. Stayt (LU), 6-2, 6-4
5. Segur (LU) def. Poli (GWU), 6-2, 6-4
6. Harrell (LU) def. Dempsey (GWU), 6-0, 7-5