Salas (left) and Borcuti (right) both produced strong shows at the Wake Forest Invitational this weekend.
The Liberty men's tennis team closed out its fall 2016 campaign at the Wake Forest Invitational over the weekend. Freshman Vince Salas captured a title at B1 singles, while sophomore Max Borcuti reached the championship match at D2 singles.
Overall, the Flames won 10 singles matches and three doubles matches over the course of the three-day invitational, which featured a strong 17-team field.
Salas won two matches on Friday, a match on Saturday and was awarded the title on a walkover on Sunday. On the first day of competition, the freshman rebounded from a set one loss to defeat Tennessee Tech's Guille Nicolas, 2-6, 6-0, 6-2. In his quarterfinal matchup on Friday, he took care of Lorenz Schwab of Campbell in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.
Salas' resilience showed once again in Saturday's semifinal showdown against Virginia Tech's Fred Mesmer. After losing the first set, 6-1, Salas rebounded to win the match in three sets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3. On Sunday, the Angeles, Phillipines, native was credited with the B1 singles title after his opponent, Troy's Filip Mansson, was unable to compete due to injury.
Borcuti posted a 2-1 mark at D2 singles at the invitational. The sophomore won a three-set match over Davidson's Kataro Horiuchi, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, in Friday's quarterfinal.
After falling behind a set to Campbell's Louis Monterosso in Saturday's semifinal match, Borcuti bounced back to take the next two sets and the match, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. Wofford's Lucas Cerebelli topped Borcuti in two sets in Sunday's final.
"Vince and Max showed a lot of grit on the court this weekend! Their progress this fall is impressive," said Liberty Head Men's Tennis Coach Chris Johnson.
Borcuti also teamed up with junior Diego Castano to claim third place at B2 doubles. The tandem earned a 7-6 (4) triumph over Navy's Matthew Lee and Greg Durham in Friday's first round. Borcuti and Castano fell, 6-2, in Saturday's semifinals to Indiana's Stefan Lugonjic and Zac Brodney. In Sunday's third place match, the Flames bested Davidson's unit of Jack Riazzi and Axel Fries, 6-3.
Castano also won two matches in singles play, taking seventh place at C1 singles. The Statesville, N.C., native, needed three sets to top Cleveland State's Andre Mick, 6-1, 2-6, 6-2, in Friday's round of 16. Following a pair of losses to strong opponents, Castano knocked off Davidson's Ricky Saad, 6-2, 6-2, for the seventh place distinction.
Sophomore Eddie Gutierrez earned one singles victory on the weekend, a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph over Charlotte's Max Benaim in B2 singles. Sophomore Ryker Heller also collected one win at the Wake Forest Invitational, knocking off Shaaz Perrani of Troy in a D1 singles backdraw match, 6-4, 7-5.
Freshman Chase Burton paired up with Salas at B1 doubles, and the duo scored one win in the consolation round on Saturday. They defeated UNC Asheville's Edward Colclough and James Massie, 6-1.
Freshman Samuel Brown saw his first college tennis action this weekend, competing in D1 singles.
The Flames' spring 2017 schedule is set to be unveiled at a later date.