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2017 Men's Tennis Spring Season Recap

May 3, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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With the spring season completed for the Liberty men's tennis team, LFSN reporter Alan York had a chance to recap the season and look to the future with Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach Chris Johnson.

The Flames' season concluded with a loss in the quarterfinals of the Big South Men's Tennis Championship on April 19 to No. 1 seed and eventual Big South champion Presbyterian.   

 2017 Spring Season Highlights

  • Flames freshman Chase Burton was selected to the Big South Conference First Team All-Conference Singles list. Burton's selection marks the eighth consecutive year a Liberty men's tennis player was chosen to the all-conference singles team. The native of Orlando, Fla., won a team-best 13 matches in the spring, including an 8-3 mark at the No. 1 singles flight.
  • Burton and fellow freshman Vince Salas were both recognized in the Big South Weekly Awards, this spring. Burton garnered back-to-back Big South Freshman of the Week honors (Feb. 2, Feb. 8), while Salas merited selection on March 22.
  • Burton finished 5-2 in Big South singles competition and won eight of his last 11 singles bouts to close out his first year in a Liberty uniform.
  • Liberty junior captain Diego Castano earned a spot on the Big South All-Academic team. The Statesville, N.C., native owns a 3.14 GPA and is majoring in business administration. Castano won a team-best 21 doubles matches during the 2016-17 campaign to go along with 15 singles triumphs.
  • After dropping their opening match to Valparaiso on their spring break trip in Orlando, the Flames won their next three matches on the trip. They defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-3, on March 13, followed by a pair of 6-1 victories over Fairfield and Saint Joseph's in a doubleheader, March 15.
  • Liberty pulled out a narrow 4-3 victory at George Mason on Feb. 10. Locked in a 3-3 tie, Flames sophomore Max Borcuti overcame a first-set loss to win in three sets against Giuliano Buzoianu, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3, and secure a Liberty victory.
  • The Flames finished above .500 (30-29) in doubles during the spring. Head coach Chris Johnson's most successful unit was Burton and Borcuti, who posted nine against seven losses. The duo was 7-4 in the No. 3 slot in the lineup.
  • The doubles tandem of Castano and sophomore Ryker Heller won all three doubles matches they played in. The pairing prevailed three Big South doubles contests – at Radford (April 9), at Winthrop (April 11) and at UNC Asheville (April 13).
  • Liberty men's tennis started the spring season 2-0 after collecting a pair of victories over King and Bluefield State, Jan. 28 at Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg. Burton and sophomore captain Eddie Gutierrez both collected two singles victories and two doubles victories apiece on that day.
  • Gutierrez provided stability in the middle of the lineup for the Flames. The sophomore captain posted an 8-6 record playing in the No. 2-4 positions in the Liberty singles lineup.