After becoming the Liberty's men's tennis program's first-ever Top 125 player on March 22, junior Sam Matheson has cracked the Top 100 in the latest ITA National Ranking, coming in at No. 94.
Matheson finished the regular season with a 17-1 overall record this spring. In addition, Matheson has notched 27 singles victories overall this season which ties the program record set by Shea Thomas in 2013. Matheson will have the chance to pass Thomas' record on Thursday when the Flames host No. 4 seed Gardner-Webb in the Big South Men's Tennis Championship quarterfinals at 2 p.m.
Matheson is one of only 18 non-Power Five conference players represented in this week's ITA rankings. The New Zealand native is the lone Big South representative.
Matheson's ranking comes as no surprise with the No. 1 singles player rattling off 17 victories in 18 decisions this season. Matheson's spring success is directly correlated to what the junior accomplished during the fall season.
Matheson exceled on a historic run in the ITA All-American tournament in early October, finishing the event with a 6-1 record before being knocked out in the final match before the main draw.
Matheson was the first Flame to advance to the event's qualifier, defeating multiple Power Five conference opponents including Arkansas' Mike Redlicki, who is currently ranked No. 26 in the ITA rankings. Matheson defeated Redlicki in three sets, 6-4, 0-6, 6-3. The Liberty junior also handled Hugo Dojas of Texas Tech in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. Dojas is currently ranked No. 100 but has reached as high as No. 94 this season.
Matheson looks to improve to 18-1 overall this season when No. 5 seed Liberty takes on No. 4 seeded Gardner-Webb at 2 p.m. on Thursday in the Big South Men's Tennis Championship quarterfinals in Lynchburg, Va.
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