Jorge Azuero notched a win in singles play against Charlotte on Tuesday.
The Liberty Flames tennis team suffered its first home defeat of the season on Tuesday, falling to the Charlotte 49ers, 6-1, at the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts.
Liberty loses its third match in a row for the first time since the 2011 season, dropping its overall record to 9-4 (2-0 Big South) on the year. The win moves the 49ers to 10-5 overall on the season.
After playing the first 12 matches of the season with the same doubles lineup, Liberty head coach Chris Johnson made some adjustments to the order against Charlotte.
Jorge Azuero and Dillon Segur moved up to the No. 1 position, but were defeated by the 49ers' Jack Williams and J. Massall Ferrer, 8-6. Playing in the No. 2 spot for the first time this season, Liberty's Shea Thomas and Egon Samaai fell to Alex Calott and Paul Cisti, 8-4.
With the doubles point already clinched, the No. 3 match between the Flames' Siim Tuus and Guillem Secanell and the 49ers' Kamil Khalil and Krzysztof Kwasniewicz was ruled unfinished with the match even at 4-4.
The Flames' lone point of the afternoon came from Azuero in the No. 4 singles position. The sophomore collected his ninth win of the year, defeating Cisti in three sets, 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8).
In the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, both Tuus and Thomas forced their matches to three sets, but fell to Williams and Ferrer, respectively.
Segur was knocked off by Calott, 6-2, 6-2, in the No. 3 position, while Liberty's Stan Vaughan lost to Kwasniewicz in the No. 6 spot by the same score.
Samaii lost for just the third time this season in singles play, 6-2, 6-4, to Khalil in the No. 5 position.
"We came out flat today and just never recovered," said Johnson. "Hats off to Charlotte as they played good tennis the whole way through. We are going to rest up and get ready for some big conference matches this weekend."
The Flames return to Big South play this weekend when they travel Rock Hill, S.C., on Friday to face Winthrop, before squaring off against Garner-Webb on Saturday in Boiling Springs, N.C. Match times are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Charlotte 6, Liberty 1 DOUBLES 1. Williams/Ferrer (UNCC) def. Segur/Azuero (LU), 8-6 2. Calott/Cisti (UNCC) def. Thomas/Samaai (LU), 8-4 3. Tuus/Secanell (LU) vs. Khalil/Kwasniewicz (UNCC), 4-4 DNF
SINGLES 1. Williams (UNCC) def. Tuus (LU), 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (9-7) 2. Ferrer (UNCC) def. Thomas (LU), 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (8-6) 3. Calott (UNCC) def. Segur (LU), 6-2, 6-2 4. Azuero (LU) def. Cisti (UNCC), 7-5, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) 5. Khalil (UNCC) def. Samaai (LU), 6-2, 6-4 6. Kwasniewicz (UNCC) def. Vaughan (LU), 6-2, 6-2