Liberty men's tennis freshman Diego Castano has been named the Crons Brand Freshman of the Week, as announced by the Big South Conference, for matches played from Jan. 19-25.
Castano, a native of Statesville, N.C., earns his first Freshman of the Week honor. He is the first Flame to earn the award since Egon Samaai, who received the honor on Feb. 5, 2013.
Castano recorded his first collegiate spring victory on Friday when he paired with Jorge Azuero at the No. 2 doubles slot to defeat James Madison's Sebastian Salinas/Maxi Branth, 6-4, clinching the doubles point for Liberty. With the Flames up 5-0 against the Dukes, Castano kept pounding away, defeating Stephen Goldman, 6-4, 6-2 from the No. 5 position.
Castano picked up where he left off several hours later, delivering a doubles-tying victory from the No. 2 spot, teaming up with Azuero to defeat Morehead State's Sabastian Penalosa/Nick Mercer, 6-4. The freshman standout then notched his second singles victory of the day, besting Jose Zurro in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2 from the No. 5 slot.
Castano dropped both matches on Sunday against No. 3 Virginia, but not without a fight. He and Azuero fell, 6-2, from the No. 2 doubles spot against Mitchell Frank/Collin Altamirano. Competing from the No. 5 hole, Castano had Luca Corinteli on edge in singles play before falling 6-4, 6-4 to the sophomore Cavalier.
"Diego is doing a really great job," commented head coach Chris Johnson. "He came in this spring in great shape and that is certainly reflecting in his early results."
The Freshman of the Week looks to notch two more victories for the Flames tomorrow at the Sports Racket when they square off against King at noon, followed by Bluefield State at 6 p.m.
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