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Flames Level BSC Record with Win over Asheville
The Liberty men's tennis team picked up a 7-0 sweep over visiting UNC Asheville, Friday, at the Hershey Tennis Courts. Prior to the match, seniors Giancarlo Lemmi, Tristan Stayt and Mandeep Yadav were honored, as the team celebrated Senior Day.
The Flames are 15-6 for 2012, and level their Big South Conference record at 3-3 with the win. It is the team's sixth win by a 7-0 margin this season. Liberty is now one win from tying the program record for wins in a season, set in 1990. Meanwhile, Asheville falls to 10-8, as it suffers its first conference loss of the season (3-1).
The match opened with what promised to be a competitive doubles series. Combined, the teams held a 76-34 doubles record for the season, with the Bulldogs being unbeaten, 9-0, in Big South doubles matches.
Liberty began by taking the No. 3 contest, with Yadav and Jorge Azuero making a strong comeback for the victory. Trailing early, 5-2, the duo rallied to win six of the next seven games to take the match, 8-6. Lemmi and Siim Tuus secured the doubles point for the Flames, as they jumped out to a 4-1 advantage in the lead match and closed to win, 8-4. Tristan Stayt and Shea Thomas nearly pulled off a comeback in the No. 2 slot, after trailing 5-2, but the effort came up just short. The Bulldogs' Thomas Rees and Adrien Langeard closed out the contest, 8-6.
Thomas, Lemmi and Azuero each cruised through their singles matches, securing the team victory for the Flames. Thomas recorded his ninth win of the season, knocking off Matt Waissen, 6-2, 6-2, in the No. 2 slot of head coach Chris Johnson's lineup. Lemmi completed a successful 2-0 senior day with his win at No. 3, defeating Jonas Brobeck, 6-2, 6-2, as well. Azuero jumped to 9-0 on the season with his No. 6 win, downing John Schubel, 6-2, 6-0.
Freshman Dillon Segur started slowly in the No. 4 match, but closed strong for the come-from-behind victory. After being blanked in the first set, 6-0, the Winston-Salem, N.C., native leveled the match, taking the second set, 6-2. He closed the contest by taking the deciding set, 6-4, to record his 11th singles win of the year.
Next, Tuus stretched the score to 6-0, claiming his team-leading 13th victory of the year. The junior was swift in the first set, winning 6-1. In the second, Langeard rallied from a 5-2 deficit to force a tiebreaker. Tuus rose to the occasion, taking the breaker, 7-1, for the 7-6 set victory.
Yadav capped off his senior day with a three-set win, serving as his eighth straight singles win. Yadav claimed the first set, 6-4, but Ryan Matthews took the second, 6-3. The Flame then closed strong in the rally-scored set, winning 10-7 to complete the squad's sweep.
The Flames conclude their 2012 regular season next week, as they host the Highlanders of Radford. The match is slated to begin at 2 p.m.
Liberty 7, UNC Asheville 0
1. Tuus/Lemmi (LU) def. Waissen/Brobeck (UNCA), 8-4
2. Rees/Langeard (UNCA) def. Stayt/Thomas (LU), 8-6
3. Yadav/Azuero (LU) def. Schubel/Conaty (UNCA), 8-6
1. Tuus (LU) def. Langeard (UNCA), 6-1, 7-6 (1)
2. Thomas (LU) def. Waissen (UNCA), 6-2, 6-2
3. Lemmi (LU) def. Brobeck (UNCA), 6-2, 6-2
4. Segur (LU) def. Rees (UNCA), 0-6, 6-2, 6-4
5. Yadav (LU) def. Matthews (UNCA), 6-4, 3-6, 10-7
6. Azuero (LU) def. Schubel (UNCA), 6-2, 6-0