The Liberty Flames men's tennis team began their season on a high note, with a 7-0 victory over in-state opponent James Madison on Friday evening at the Sports Racket. The victory marks the fourth year in a row that the Flames have started the season on top.
Liberty (1-0) blanked the Dukes (1-3) for its first shutout since defeating North Carolina Central, 4-0, on April 12, 2013. For James Madison, all three losses this season have come from a shutout.
The Flames opened the match with David Bush and Sam Matheson falling in a tough 6-2 contest in doubles action. Liberty bounced back with Dillon Segur and Egon Samaai notching the score at one apiece after defeating Robert Stirling and Miljan Ruzic, 6-4.
Jorge Azuero and Diego Castano delivered the doubles clinching set from the No. 2 spot, winning 6-4 over Sebastian Salinas and Maxi Branth to put Liberty ahead, 1-0.
Segur and Matheson extended the Flames lead to 3-0 after a pair of straight-set wins to open singles play. At No. 1, Segur knocked off Stirling, 6-2, 6-4, before the sophomore transfer Matheson ousted Salinas, 6-3, 6-3 from the No. 2 spot.
In the No. 4 position, Azuero delivered the match clinching victory with a 6-0, 6-2 win against Brett Moorhead.
With the victory in hand, Liberty earned wins in the final three singles positions. At No. 3, Samaai battled back and forth with Branth in the first set, 7-6 (7-4) before cruising to a 6-3 win in the second set. From the No. 5 spot, Castano defeated JMU's Goldman in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Jason Burgess finished the match off with a win from the No. 6 spot over Alex Berdnikoff, 7-5, 6-2.
The Flames play host to Morehead State tonight at 6 p.m. at the Sports Racket. Following the conclusion of tonight's match, Liberty will return to action Sunday when they take on Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. at 12 p.m.
Liberty 7, JMU 0