Liberty men's tennis junior Sam Matheson has been named the Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Week for the second time in as many weeks, while freshman Alex Poynter captures his first Big South Freshman of the Week honor. The Liberty duo captured the awards as announced by the Big South Conference for matches played from Feb. 8-14.
Matheson finished the week with a 3-0 overall record, including two singles wins. In the Flames showdown against North Carolina Central in the first contest of Saturday's doubleheader, Matheson posted a 2-0 mark. Matheson and Egon Samaai paired up to claim the doubles point away from the Eagles, downing Kert Kilumets and Thomas Persico, 6-4. The New Zealand native then handled Kilumets in three sets in singles action. Matheson and Kilumets split the first two sets, 6-4 each. However, the Liberty junior claimed the third set tiebreaker by a score of 10-7. Matheson then competed against Norfolk State that afternoon, defeating Flavian Fernandez in straight sets. With the Flames ahead 2-0, Matheson provided Liberty with a three point cushion after claiming the 6-0, 6-3 victory from the No. 1 singles slot. The singles victories pushed Matheson's record to an untarnished 5-0 mark in singles action this spring.
Poynter finished the week with a perfect 2-0 record, both being singles wins. During Saturday's first game of the doubleheader, Poynter posted his first collegiate match-clinching victory against North Carolina Central's Thomas Persico. With Liberty ahead 3-0, Poynter eased past Persico in the first set, 6-2, before cruising to a 6-0 victory in the second to give the Flames a 4-0 cushion. The 6-5 freshman was back at it against Norfolk State in the second match of Saturday's doubleheader, this time defeating Dan Dumitrascu in three sets. Poynter claimed the first set 6-3, before slipping in the second 6-4. The freshman capped off the match with a 10-7 victory in the third set tiebreaker.
The Flames take to the road on Friday for a three-match tournament in Tallahassee, Fla. Liberty will begin the tournament against Florida A&M on Friday at 2:30 p.m., and conclude the events on Sunday against The Citadel at 9 a.m.
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