Heller clinched the match from the No. 6 singles position by defeating Gomes in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.
The Liberty men's tennis squad notched its first victory of the 2016 spring season, besting King University by a score of 5-2 in the second game of the doubleheader at the Sports Racket in Lynchburg, Va. With the win, Liberty improves to 1-1 while King falls to 1-3 on the season.
As a result of the victory, Chris Johnson became the all-time winningest coach in Liberty men's tennis history, reaching the century mark for his 100th career victory at the helm of the program. Johnson is the first coach in program history in either the men or women's side to reach 100 career victories with the respective team. Johnson has also accounted for 64 victories as the coach of the women's program from 2007-2012.
The Flames notched the doubles point following two victories in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Sam Matheson and Alex Poynter defeated Lenny Keswani and Philipp Lindauer by a score of 6-3. Shortly after, Egon Samaai and Eddie Gutierrez bested Moritz Poswiat and Luis Delgado by the same score of 6-3 to place Liberty ahead.
Jason Burgess doubled Liberty's lead to two following a straight-sets victory over Jannis Walter, 7-6(8-6), 6-3 in the No. 4 singles position.
Poynter collected his first singles victory of the spring from the No. 3 singles position, besting Delgado in straight sets. The 6-5 freshman defeated Delgado 6-4 in the first set and then rallied to a 7-6 (7-1) victory in the second set to give the red and blue a 3-0 lead over the visiting Tornado.
Simultaneously with Poynter's victory on court one, King notched its first point of the contest on court four when Keswani downed Gutierrez in straight sets, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, cutting the LU lead to just 3-1.
The Tornado notched a second consecutive point to trim the Liberty lead to one, this time from the No. 1 singles position. After Samaai defeated Poswiat handily in the first set, 6-2, the South African native fell 7-5 in the second set to force his second three-set match of the day. This time Samaai did not come out on top, falling to Poswiat in the third set, 7-6 (7-4).
Liberty sealed the contest from the No. 6 singles position with freshman Ryker Heller stepping up in a big way. Heller defeated Pedro Gomes in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2.
With the contest already clinched, sophomore David Bush defeated Lindauer in three sets. The Kentucky native claimed a 6-2 first-set victory before falling 6-4 in the second set. Bush and Lindauer played a 10-point tiebreaker set in the third since the match was already decided. Bush defeated Lindauer 10-1 to seal the 5-2 victory.
The Flames return to action on Friday at 2 p.m. when they welcome Furman to the Hill City. The contest will be played at the Sports Racket and is the first meeting between the two programs.
Liberty 5, King 2 Doubles