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Flames Fall Short at Presbyterian

March 24, 2016  Clinton, S.C.  RSS
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Flames Fall Short at Presbyterian

The Liberty Flames men's tennis squad fell to Presbyterian by the final score of 4-3 in Clinton, S.C., this afternoon.

With the loss, Liberty drops to .500 at 8-8, including 2-2 in Big South action. The Blue Hose improve to 9-12 and 5-1 in conference play.

Presbyterian claimed the doubles point from the Flames, winning at both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles positions.

The freshman duo of Eddie Gutierrez and Alex Poynter notched the lone doubles win during the match for Liberty, besting Joel Roberts and Diego Manzanas from the No. 3 doubles position, 6-3.

Liberty notched three singles wins, falling one short of the come-from-behind victory. New Zealand native Sam Matheson continued his historic season for the Flames. The Liberty junior, currently ranked No. 106 nationally, earned a three-set victory over Alexander Lykou from the No. 1 singles slot. For the second consecutive match after garnering his national ranking, Matheson placed his undefeated record on the line, pulling out the victory in the final set. Matheson dropped the first set 2-6, before fighting to win in the second set 7-6(3). Matheson and Lykou were neck and neck in the final set until the Liberty junior was able to pull away and win 11-9.

Gutierrez was able to notch a victory from the No. 4 singles slot for Liberty. The two-time Big South Freshman of the Week bested Manzanas in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5.

The Flames' final victory came from Diego Castano in the No. 5 singles slot. The North Carolina native dropped the first set 6-2 and then defeated Brandon Mills in the second set by an identical score of 6-2. Castano rode the momentum into the final frame, besting Mills by the final of 6-3.

Liberty will return to action on March 31 when the Flames host Radford at 3 p.m. The contest will serve as Senior Day for Jason Burgess and Egon Samaai. The Flames will turn around on April 1 to take on Gardner-Webb at noon at the Cook Tennis Center.

Presbyterian 4, Liberty 3
Doubles          

  1. Mills/Lykou (PC) def. Matheson/Samaai (LU), 6-3
  2. Bruce/Kelley (PC) def. Castano/Bush (LU), 6-0
  3. Gutierrez/Poynter (LU) def. Robers/Manzanas (PC), 6-3

Singles

  1. No. 106 Matheson (LU) def. Lykou (PC), 2-6, 7-6(7-3), 1-0(11-9)
  2. Bejar (PC) def. Samaai (LU), 6-4, 6-4
  3. Bruce (PC) def. Poynter (LU), 6-2, 6-1
  4. Gutierrez (LU) def. Manzanas (PC), 6-4, 7-5
  5. Castano (LU) def. Mills (PC), 2-6, 6-2, 6-3
  6. Kelley (PC) def. Bush (LU), 6-2, 6-2