The Liberty men's tennis squad dropped a 4-3 decision to UNC Asheville on Saturday at the Cook Tennis Center.
With the loss, Liberty falls to 5-6 and 1-1 in Big South action. Following the victory, the Bulldogs improve to 5-3 and 1-0 in conference play.
Liberty claimed the doubles point, winning two of the three doubles matches. The Flames fell behind 1-0 in doubles play after Eddie Gutierrez and Alex Poynter dropped a 6-1 decision to Henry Patten and Josh Swindler.
Liberty then bounced back and won the doubles point from the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles slots. Sam Matheson and Egon Samaai bested Alex Croker and Brett Landau to even the doubles point score at 1-1.
David Bush and Diego Castano secured the early 1-0 advantage for the Flames, defeating Reid Dillon and Thomas Orestis-Panoulas by a score of 6-4.
Asheville knotted the match at one apiece when Patten bested Samaai in straight sets from the No. 2 singles position, 6-0, 6-1.
Liberty regained the lead when Bush notched a straight-set victory from the No. 6 singles slot. The Kentucky native defeated Landau, 6-2, 6-0 to give the Flames a 2-1 advantage.
The Bulldogs tied the contest once again, this time from the No. 4 singles slot. Swindler bested Gutierrez in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1 to even the score at two apiece.
Matheson improved to 9-0 in singles action this season after besting Croker 7-5, 6-2 to give the Flames a 3-2 cushion with two matches remaining.
Asheville rebounded and tied the match for the third time, before pulling away in the final singles position to claim the 4-3 victory. Olly Cull bested Castano in straight sets 7-6(6), 6-1 before Orestis-Panoulas sealed the match with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Poynter in the No. 3 singles spot.
The Flames return to action on Wednesday when they take on UC Irvine at 5 p.m. in Irvine, Calif. Liberty will then square off against UC Riverside at 1 p.m. on Thursday in Irvine, Calif.
UNC Asheville 4, Liberty 3 Doubles