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Flames Down Radford on Senior Day

March 31, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Flames Down Radford on Senior Day

The Liberty Flames men's tennis squad defeated Radford by the final score of 6-1 on Senior Day at the Sports Racket.

With the victory, Liberty improves to 9-8 overall, including 3-2 in Big South action. The Highlanders fall to 1-11 overall this season, including 0-4 in conference play.

Prior to the match, seniors Egon Samaai and Jason Burgess were recognized with a pregame ceremony to honor their distinguished Liberty careers.

Liberty secured the doubles point, winning two of the three doubles matches. Sam Matheson and Egon Samaai notched the first doubles victory of the contest after defeating Janken Thoen and Alexandros Caldwell by the final of 6-1 from the No. 1 doubles position.

After the Highlanders notched a 6-3 victory from the No. 3 doubles position, David Bush and Diego Castano clinched the doubles point for Liberty. After falling behind 4-1, the sophomore duo rallied to down Nikhil Mannepalli and Samuel Taylor, 7-6(7-3).

Samaai delivered a convincing straight-set victory on his Senior Day performance. The South Africa native bested Caldwell 6-3, 6-3 to give the Flames the 2-0 edge over the Highlanders. Samaai's victory marked his 71st career singles victory, ranking fourth most in program history. Samaai needs four more victories to pass Siim Tuus for the most singles victories in program history.

Poynter extended the Liberty lead to 3-0 after he successfully defeated Taylor in straight sets from the No. 4 singles position, 6-3, 6-3.

The overall match was clinched when Matheson extended his personal winning streak to 15 to remain undefeated in singles play this spring. Matheson, currently ranked No. 106 in the country, defeated Thoen in straight sets, 7-6(8-6), 6-3. The victory was Matheson's fifth in conference play and helped the junior to a 15-0 overall mark.

With the overall match already decided, Liberty secured two of the final three singles victories. Gutierrez notched a three-set victory over Michiel Meekers from the No. 3 singles spot, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. The final Liberty victory came from Castano in the No. 5 singles position with the sophomore besting Mannepalli in straight sets 7-6(7-2), 7-6(7-2).

Liberty will return to action tomorrow when the Flames host Gardner-Webb at 1 p.m. The contest was originally slated to begin at noon at the Cook Tennis Center but due to the forecast of inclement weather the match has been pushed back one hour and moved into the Sports Racket.

Liberty 6, Radford 1

  1. Matheson/Samaai (LU) def. Thoen/Caldwell (RU), 6-1
  2. Bush/Castano (LU) def. Mannepalli/Taylor (RU), 7-6(3)
  3. Meekers/Moreno Manzano (RU) def. Gutierrez/Poynter (LU), 6-3


  1. No. 106 Matheson (LU) def. Thoen (RU), 7-6(6), 6-3
  2. Samaai (LU) def. Caldwell (RU), 6-3, 6-3
  3. Gutierrez (LU) def. Meekers (RU), 3-6, 6-2, 6-2
  4. Poynter (LU) def. Taylor (RU), 6-3, 6-3
  5. Castano (LU) def. Mannepalli (RU), 7-6(2), 7-6(2)
  6. Moreno Manzano (RU) def. Bush (LU), 2-6, 6-4, 10-5