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Men's Tennis to Face Campbell on Thursday Afternoon

March 7, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty (4-5, 0-1 Big South) and Campbell (10-2, 1-0 Big South) will square off at 2 p.m., Thursday in Lynchburg.

Liberty (4-5, 0-1 Big South) and Campbell (10-2, 1-0 Big South) will square off at 2 p.m., Thursday in Lynchburg.

The Liberty men's tennis squad will play its second Big South match of 2017, hosting Campbell on Thursday.

The match between the Flames (4-5, 0-1 Big South) and Camels (10-2, 1-0 Big South) will start at 2 p.m. at the Cook Tennis Center.

Thursday's matchup will mark the 20th all-time meeting between the two schools. Campbell holds the series advantage, 13-6, but Liberty defeated Campbell, 4-3, in the two teams' most recent meeting on April 7, 2016 in Buies Creek, N.C.

How to Follow the Flames
Live stats for the contest will be available by clicking the link on the Liberty men's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com. Also, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for live in-match updates.

Season Update
The Flames opened their Big South slate last Thursday with a 4-3 home loss to Longwood. Liberty dropped the doubles point and won three of six singles matches, including victories from freshman Chase Burton (No. 2), junior Diego Castano (No. 5) and sophomore Max Borcuti (No. 6).

The Flames' four wins this season have come against King (5-2 on Jan. 28), Bluefield State (4-3 on Jan. 28), George Mason (4-3 on Feb. 10) and N.C. Central (5-2 on Feb. 17).

Inside the Numbers
Freshman Vince Salas owns the Flames' best overall mark (12-9) in singles during the 2016-17 season. The Angeles, Philippines, native is 4-5 in singles dual competition, so far this spring. Salas and his doubles partner, Castano, hold the best doubles record for Liberty in the spring at 4-3.

Fellow freshman Burton has 10 singles victories for the season, including a 5-4 mark in the spring. He holds a 4-2 record playing out of the No. 1 slot.

Sophomore captain Eddie Gutierrez is also 5-4 in singles in 2017. Gutierrez is 3-1 in the No. 2 spot in the lineup.

2017 Big South Update
Longwood (1-0), Campbell (1-0) and Presbyterian (1-0) each earned wins in their Big South openers, while UNC Asheville (1-1) has split a pair of league matches in the early stages of the conference slate. Winthrop (0-0) will open Big South play against Longwood at home on Saturday, while Liberty (0-1), Gardner-Webb (0-1) and Radford (0-1) will be seeking their first conference victories in the coming days.

The Liberty men's tennis team was chosen to finish fourth in the Big South Conference men's tennis preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches in January.

The Flames garnered one first-place vote and 41 points in the poll. Winthrop picked up three first-place votes and 54 points overall to earn the top spot, followed by Presbyterian (two first-place votes, 52 points) and Campbell (two first-place votes, 50 points). Gardner-Webb (35 points) was picked to finish fifth, followed by UNC Asheville (27 points), Radford (16 points) and Longwood (13 points). 

The 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship will be played at Wake Forest from April 19-21.

Scouting Campbell
In 2016, the Camels finished 8-13 overall and 3-5 in Big South play. This year, Campbell has already eclipsed its win total from a year ago with 10 wins against just two defeats.

The Camels' nine-man roster includes: one freshman, three sophomores, four juniors and a senior.

Sophomore Gerard Sola owns a perfect 11-0 mark in singles play, so far this spring. Sola has played at the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 position, with his best mark (7-0) coming out of the No. 4 spot. Freshman Fernando Clemente is 9-2 in singles during the spring, including a 7-1 mark in the No. 6 slot.

Campbell's top doubles team has been Jonathan O'Neal and Sola. The junior and sophomore are 9-1 overall in dual doubles play, with a 7-1 mark as the No. 3 unit.

The Camels are coached by David Johnson, who is in his 19th year as head coach of the both the men's and women's programs at Campbell.