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Flames Excel in Morning Doubles, Perform Well in Singles at SDSU Invite

October 7, 2017  San Diego, Calif.   RSS
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Mermersky (left) and Burton (right) picked up two doubles victories on Saturday in San Diego, Calif.

Mermersky (left) and Burton (right) picked up two doubles victories on Saturday in San Diego, Calif.

Day 2 Results 

Liberty men's tennis capped off a strong doubles session with six victories in the morning, followed by more impressive performances in singles, Saturday on day two at the Aztec Fall Invitational at the Aztec Tennis Center.

"I was proud of the character we showed today as a team," said Liberty head coach Derek Schwandt. "Our guys have been digging into the fight. We will look to finish strong tomorrow."

Liberty's Chase Burton and Sebastian Mermersky claimed two doubles matches on Saturday morning. The duo knocked off Freddie Grant and Gregoire Balenci of Grand Canyon (GCU), 6-3, before besting SDSU's tandem of Ignacio Martinez and Joel Popov, 7-5.

The Flames' pairing of Diego Castano and Alex Poynter also picked up two victories on day two. In their first match, they topped UC San Diego's Marc Isaia and Sreeganesh Manoharan, 6-2. The tandem followed up the win with a victory over the UC San Diego Triton's Eric Tseng and Justin Zhang in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (3).

After falling in their first match of the day, Liberty's Eddie Gutierrez and Vince Salas bounced back with a 6-2 win against GCU's Grant and Balenci.

Flames junior Max Borcuti, alongside partner Daniel de la Torre of San Diego State, advanced to the finals of the Flight 2 doubles division with a 6-4 victory over GCU's Leo Andreolli and Justin Cvitanovic. Borcuti and de la Torre were edged, 6-4, in the finals by Rafael Gonzalez Almazan and Raul de la Torre.

In Saturday singles, Liberty's Gutierrez advanced to the finals of his second consecutive tournament. The Mexico native needed just two sets to knock off SDSU's Daniel de la Torre (6-2, 6-1). Gutierrez will face the Aztec's Gonzalez Almazan, tomorrow in the title match of the Flight 2 singles draw.

Salas earned a pair of singles wins on Saturday. He first defeated UC San Diego's Zhang, 6-1, 6-3, followed by a gritty three-set win over SDSU's Jan Kirchhoff, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (10-6).

Like Salas, Borcuti picked up a tough three-set triumph over GCU's Andreoli, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6). The Flames' Poynter advanced to the consolation final in the Flight 2 singles bracket with a 7-5, 7-5 victory.

Following a setback, Mermersky won an afternoon singles match, 6-2, 6-2 over UC San Diego opponent David Higgins. Finally, Castano claimed one match (6-3, 3-1 retired), as his opponent, Vatsal Bajpai of UC Irvine, was forced to retire due to injury.

Liberty will be back in action on day three of the Aztec Fall Invitational on Sunday. Results from the invitational, as well as a recap, will be available at the conclusion of day three on