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Liberty Men Experience Success at USC Upstate Fall Classic

September 11, 2016  Spartanburg, S.C.  RSS
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The Liberty team of Eddie Gutierrez and Ryker Heller won the Black doubles flight at the USC Upstate Fall Classic.

The Liberty team of Eddie Gutierrez and Ryker Heller won the Black doubles flight at the USC Upstate Fall Classic.

The Liberty men's tennis team opened its fall slate at the South Carolina Upstate Fall Classic, this weekend. The sophomore tandem of Eddie Gutierrez and Ryker Heller captured a title in the Black doubles flight, while freshman Chase Burton posted two wins in the Green singles division at the USC Upstate Tennis Complex.

On Friday, Gutierrez and Heller earned a decisive 8-2 victory over UNC Asheville's Edward Colclough and James Massie. The duo was tested by Gardner-Webb's Michael Perry and Johan Fors on Saturday but prevailed, 8-6, to reach the finals.

In the finals, the pair beat Armstrong State's Luca Cerin and Lorenzo Camilli, 8-6, to finish the invitational with a 3-0 mark.

Competing in his first collegiate invitational, Burton knocked off Armstrong State's Camilli, 6-2, 6-0, on Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning, UNCA's Henry Patten bested Burton in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. Burton rebounded with a straight-set victory over USC Upstate's Matt Bennion, 6-4, 6-1.

In the Black doubles flight, David Bush and Diego Castano bounced back from a Friday loss and won matches Saturday and Sunday to capture the consolation division. After an 8-5 loss to Cerin and Camilli of Armstrong State, the juniors prevailed, 8-3, over Presbyterian's Svensson and Castillo Perez. Bush and Castano earned an 8-4 win over Matt Bennion and Felix Ewers. Castano also picked up a win on Friday in the Black singles flight.

The doubles team of Chase Burton and Vince Salas won one match, an 8-3 victory over UNC Asheville's Reid Dillon and Andrew Sinai, on Saturday.

As a team, the Flames won five singles matches and four doubles wins in total over the three-day invitational.

The Flames will now gear up for the USA F29 Futures, which begins on Sept. 19 and runs through Sept. 25 in Irvine, Calif. Liberty will also compete at the Elon Invitational on Sept. 23-25.