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Singles Wins Push Winthrop Past Liberty
While Liberty grabbed the early doubles point, Winthrop won four of the six singles matches, taking the Big South men's tennis contest, 4-3, Saturday at the Hershey Tennis Courts.
Liberty is 13-6 overall and 2-3 in Big South matches after the loss. Winthrop improves to 9-11 and 2-2 in conference play this season with the victory.
The Flames continued their stellar doubles play for 2012, taking the two contested matches, while the Eagles defaulted in the No. 3 match. Siim Tuus and Giancarlo Lemmi breezed through their No. 1 matchup to clinch the doubles point, taking an 8-1 win over Guy Kubi and Nadav Rippin. Shea Thomas and Tristan Stayt leapt out to a 6-2 lead in the No. 2 match. Dylan Comerford and Yuta Hirokawa climbed back a little, but the Flames closed the door with the 8-5 win. Both of Liberty's doubles duos clinched their 10th win of the season with the victories.
The Flames benefitted once again with a Winthrop default in the No. 6 match, to go up 2-0. However, Liberty only added one point from then on, as the visiting Eagles took four of the contested singles matches.
Winthrop took the first match to go final, as Comerford claimed the No. 4 contest. Mandeep Yadav responded for the Flames, by taking his match in the No. 6 position, 6-0, 6-2 over Chase Altieri.
The No. 1 and No. 3 matches went final next, as the visitors posted two more team points to tie the overall match, 3-3.
Meanwhile, in the No. 2 slot, the deciding match was forced into a third set. Thomas took the first set from Yuta Hirokawa, 6-2, but the Eagle squared the match with a 6-3 second set. With players and fans surrounding to watch the conclusion, Hirokawa jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Thomas took two of the next three games, but Hirokawa rebounded by taking the final two contests to claim the deciding set, 6-2, for the 4-3 victory.
The Flames return to the road on Tuesday, when they're slated to face Longwood at 1:30 p.m.
Winthrop 4, Liberty 3
1. Tuus/Lemmi (LU) def. Kubi/Ruppin (WU), 8-1
2. Thomas/Stayt (LU) def. Comerford/Hirokawa (WU), 8-5
3. Segur/Yadav (LU) win by default
1. Kubi (WU) def. Tuus (LU), 6-3, 6-4
2. Hirokawa (WU) def. Thomas (LU), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. Ruppin (WU) def. Lemmi (LU), 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
4. Comerford (WU) def. Segur (LU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Yadav (LU) def. Altieri (WU) 6-0, 6-2
6. Azuero (LU) wins by default