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Liberty Men Compete at Elon Fall Invitational

September 24, 2016  Elon, N.C.  RSS
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Liberty showed promise in both singles and doubles at the Elon Fall Invitational this weekend.

Liberty showed promise in both singles and doubles at the Elon Fall Invitational this weekend.

The Liberty men's tennis team competed at the Elon Fall Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Sunday's final day of competition at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center was cancelled due to inclement weather.

The Flames' doubles team of Diego Castano and Alex Poynter won two matches at B1 doubles to advance to Sunday's final. The junior and sophomore tandem topped Clemson's duo of Jess Jones and Brent Lett, 8-2, on Friday morning.

Later in the day on Friday, Castano and Poynter knocked off James Madison's Theophile Lanthiez and Brett Moorhead. They were scheduled to play UNCG's Logan Walker and Warren Bryan in the 9 a.m. final before rain caused the rest of the invitational to be cancelled. Poynter won his lone match at C2 singles.

At A2 doubles, the team of Eddie Gutierrez and Vince Salas posted a 1-1 record. After a narrow 8-7 loss to Elon's Salvador Mijares and Taylor Foote on day one, the duo won, 8-3, over Gabriel Cucalon and Davide Callegari of N.C. Central.

In singles play, Castano and Salas both reached the final of the back draw bracket of the A2 singles draw. Castano lost his first match on Friday but bounced back with two straight-sets victories on Saturday. The Statesville, N.C. native bested Old Dominion's Pepe Nunez and Elon's Felipe Osses-Konig by identical 6-3, 7-5 scores.

Salas also suffered a day one loss but rebounded nicely with a pair of victories on Saturday afternoon. The Angeles, Phillipines native knocked off UNC Charlotte's Jensen Martin in a hard-fought three-set match, 6-3, 2-6, 10-6. Salas then defeated UNC Asheville's Andrew Sinai, 6-3, 6-3.

At B2 singles, sophomore Max Borcuti posted two wins. After suffering a loss in his opening match, the Toronto, Ontario, Canada native knocked off UNC Asheville's James Massie, 6-4, 5-7, 10-3 on Saturday morning. In the afternoon session, the sophomore beat N.C. Central's Callegari, 6-4, 7-5.

"We have a very young team this year, and I'm happy with where we are in the development process," said head coach Chris Johnson. "Worth noting is our doubles success in the first two tournaments. This will be a key for us in the spring."

The Flames will now prepare for the Tulsa ITA Saint Francis All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla., starting on Saturday and running through Oct. 9.