The Liberty men's tennis squad saw its trip to the ITA Atlantic Regionals come to an end Saturday in Charlottesville, Va. The Flames did not go down without a fight, with Egon Samaai providing a boost and a glimpse of what is to come this season.
Samaai began play today with teammate Jorge Azuero in the doubles round of 16. Samaai and Azuero dropped a hard-fought match to UMBC's Alex Drean and Daniel Gray to begin play this morning. The two pairs battled head to head before Drean and Gray put the Liberty duo away by a score of 8-6. This year's advancement to the doubles round of 16 is the second best result in program history, behind last year's doubles victory from the doubles tandem of Shea Thomas and Jorge Azuero.
Samaai turned around to compete in the main draw of singles competition following the conclusion of the doubles matches. The Liberty junior picked up a victory in the round of 64 to begin singles competition. Samaai upended Duquesne's Harry Walshe in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. With Samaai's victory over Walshe, the South African native tied the program's furthest advancement in the ITA Atlantic Regional, matching former teammate Shea Thomas who accomplished the feat at last year's ITA Atlantic Regionals. Samaai then squared off against host Virginia's Luca Corintelli in three hard-fought sets. Despite picking up the second set 7-6, Samaai dropped the first and third set by scores of 6-2, 6-2 to conclude the junior's play at the ITA Atlantic Regionals.
"We had some great opportunities this weekend and we capitalized on some of them," commented Chris Johnson, Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach. "It's great to see a new name every week rising to the top. We are definitely a deeper squad this year."
Liberty will return to action once more this fall, traveling to Wilmington, N.C. for the second time this season on Oct. 31, competing in the UNCW Quad Invite.