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Flames Notch Victory in Conference Opener

March 2, 2016  Farmville, Va.  RSS
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Flames Notch Victory in Conference Opener

For the second consecutive season, the Liberty men's tennis squad defeated Longwood to begin Big South action. This time, the contest was played in Farmville, Va., and the Flames swept the Lancers by a score of 7-0.

With the win, Liberty evens its record at 5-5 and improves to 1-0 in conference play for the third time in the past four seasons. With the loss, Longwood falls to 3-4 and 0-2 in Big South action.

The Flames began doubles action with the freshmen duo of Eddie Gutierrez and Alex Poynter defeating Florian Uffer and Lachlan Manser by a score of 6-4 in the No. 2 doubles position.

Liberty quickly received the doubles point after the sophomore doubles tandem of David Bush and Diego Castano bested Bharani Sankar and Rosen Ilchev, 7-6 (7-3).

Just for good measure, Sam Matheson and Egon Samaai put away Alfonso Castellano and Julian Farthing in the No. 1 doubles slot, 7-6 (8-6).

Castano handed Liberty its first singles victory of the afternoon, besting Ilchev in straight sets by a final of 6-1, 6-0 to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.

Gutierrez, competing from the No. 4 singles slot, provided the Liberty with a comfortable 3-0 advantage after the Mexico native defeated Farthing, 6-4, 6-3.

Fellow freshman, Poynter, clinched the match for the red and blue as the 6-5 Texas native competed from the No. 3 singles spot and triumphed over Sankar by a score of 6-4, 6-3.

Liberty claimed each of the final three singles matches to sweep the Lancers, including freshman Max Borcuti notching his first collegiate spring victory. The Canada native was coming off a wrist injury that placed him on the sideline for the first nine matches. Borcuti showed no signs of first-match jitters, defeating Manser in straight sets 6-3, 6-0.

Co-captains Matheson and Samaai defeated their respective opponents in straight sets, competing from the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions. Matheson's victory extended his record to a perfect 8-0 on the season.

The Flames are back in action on Saturday with a conference showdown against UNC Asheville at noon at the Cook Tennis Center.

Liberty 7, Longwood 0

  1. Matheson/Samaai (LU) def. Castellano/Farthing (LWU), 7-6(6)
  2. Gutierrez/Poynter (LU) def. Uffer/Manser (LWU), 6-4
  3. Bush/Castano (LU) def. Sankar/Ilchev (LWU), 7-6(3)


  1. Matheson (LU) def. Uffer (LWU), 6-3, 6-4
  2. Samaai (LU) def. Castellano (LWU), 6-1, 7-6(4)
  3. Poynter (LU) def. Sankar (LWU), 6-4, 6-3
  4. Gutierrez (LU) def. Farthing (LWU), 6-4, 6-3
  5. Castano (LU) def. Ilchev (LWU), 6-1, 6-0
  6. Borcuti (LU) def. Manser (LWU), 6-3, 6-0