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Flames Cruise to 5-2 Win over Eagles

February 13, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Poynter delivered the match-clinching 6-2, 6-0 victory for the Flames from the No. 4 singles slot.

Poynter delivered the match-clinching 6-2, 6-0 victory for the Flames from the No. 4 singles slot.

The Liberty men's tennis squad found themselves on the right end of the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, besting North Carolina Central by a score of 5-2 at the Sports Racket.

With the win, Liberty improves to 2-3 on the campaign. The Eagles drop their opening match of the 2016 season, falling to 0-1.

The Flames claimed the doubles point to jump ahead early, 1-0. David Bush and Diego Castano won by forfeit at the No. 3 doubles position, and Sam Matheson and Egon Samaai prevailed 6-4 at No. 1. Freshmen Eddie Gutierrez and Alex Poynter were in a tightly contested match at the No. 2 spot, trailing 4-5 to Gabriel Cucalon and Davide Callegari, before the match went unfinished following the win at the No. 1 flight.

Matheson and Samaai grabbed an early break of serve in the set, but when leading 4-3, the North Carolina Central duo of Kert Kilumets and Thomas Persico evened the score to 4-4 with a break of their own. Matheson and Samaai responded well, breaking serve once more to inch ahead and claim the match 6-4.

Liberty proceeded to grab a 2-0 lead with Bush's win by forfeit at No. 6 singles. The lead grew to 3-0 not soon after with Jason Burgess having little trouble with a dominant 6-0, 6-0 result at the No. 5 spot over Dillon Strepay.

Freshman Alex Poynter was slotted in at No. 4 singles, and was the next match to finish with a convincing 6-2, 6-0 win, clinching the match in favor of the Flames.

With the match already decided, North Carolina Central did well to claim positive results at No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively. Cucalon, a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, edged Liberty's Castano by a 6-3, 6-3 score, while Callegari earned a hard-fought three-set match win over Gutierrez.

Matheson and Kilumets were entrenched in the final match to finish. After two well-played sets, the players entered into a ten-point tiebreaker. It was Matheson, the reigning Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Week, who came away with the 10-7 result to remain unbeaten in singles play in 2016 and give Liberty the 5-2 victory.

The Flames returns to action later Saturday evening when it hosts the Norfolk State Spartans (0-2). The match will begin at 6:30 pm at the Sports Racket.

Liberty 5, North Carolina Central 2
Doubles          

  1. Matheson/Samaai (LU) def. Kilumets/Persico (NCCU), 6-4
  2. Gutierrez/Poynter (LU) vs. Callegari/Cucalon (NCCU), 4-5 unfinished
  3. Bush/Castano (LU), won by forfeit

Singles

  1. Matheson (LU) def. Kilumets (NCCU), 6-4, 4-6, 10-7
  2. Cucalon (NCCU) def. Castano (LU), 6-3, 6-3
  3. Callegari (NCCU) def. Gutierrez (LU), 6-4, 2-6, 6-2
  4. Poynter (LU) def. Persico (NCCU), 6-2, 6-0
  5. Burgess (LU) def. Strepay (NCCU), 6-0, 6-0
  6. Bush (LU), won by forfeit