The Liberty Flames men's tennis team faced a tough slate of opponents at the Wake Forest Spring Invitational this weekend to open the 2013 spring season. Liberty captured eight singles wins and four doubles victories at the tournament, which featured players from 19th-ranked Tennessee, 66th-ranked Wake Forest, William & Mary and Kennesaw State.
"I'm proud of the guys as they competed hard against tough competition," commented Liberty head coach Chris Johnson. "It will certainly help prepare us for the start of this year's schedule."
The Flames' Shea Thomas paced the squad with a pair of singles wins. After dropping his first-round match in the main draw, Thomas rebounded with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Alexander Pena of Kennesaw State. The California native moved on to defeat Wake Forest's Jaya Billa, downing the Demon Deacons' junior in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0.
Liberty's Siim Tuus, Egon Samaai, Dillon Segur, Guillem Secanell and Stan Vaughan each picked up a win during singles play.
After posting a 7-2 mark in doubles matches during the fall, Thomas and Samaai continued their strong play, posting a 2-1 record at the tournament. The Flames' duo fell to the second-seeded pair of Hunter Reese and Sebastian Yllera of Tennessee, 8-3, in the opening round. Thomas and Samaai bounced back with a resounding 8-1 triumph over Pena and Matthew Johnson of Kennesaw State, before rolling past another Kennesaw State pair in Maksim Yorsh and Jorge Wilton, 8-1.
Azuero and Segur, along with Secanell and Sergio Mourelo, also notched wins in doubles competition for the Flames.
The Flames' first head-to-head matchup of the season is on Feb. 1 in Sulphur Springs, W. Va. against Bluefield State at 2 p.m.