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Flames Tabbed to Finish Sixth in Big South

January 10, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Diego Castano and the Flames will open the season at Virginia Tech, Jan. 19.

Diego Castano and the Flames will open the season at Virginia Tech, Jan. 19.

Liberty men's tennis has been tabbed to finish sixth in the conference in the 2018 Big South Men's Tennis Preseason Poll.

The Flames, who are led by first-year head coach Derek Schwandt, collected one first-place vote and 30 points in the poll.

"We are excited about our preseason training trip to the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona, Florida and opening our season at Virginia Tech next Friday," Schwandt said. "We are all looking forward to competing and building our culture."

Presbyterian, the defending Big South champion, collected three first-place votes and 49 points to edge out second place Campbell (one first-place vote, 48 points) and third place Winthrop (two first-place votes, 46 points).

Gardner-Webb (one first-place vote, 41 points) and Longwood (40 points) claimed the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the poll, respectively. Following Liberty, UNC Asheville (19 points) and Radford (15 points) rounded out the poll.

Liberty's eight-man roster consists of two seniors (Diego Castano and Sam Matheson), three juniors (Max Borcuti, Eddie Gutierrez and Alex Poynter) and a pair of sophomores (Chase Burton and Vince Salas). Matheson was the 2016 Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Year.

The Flames will begin spring competition next Friday, Jan. 19 at Virginia Tech. Liberty will take on the host Virginia Tech Hokies at 11 a.m. at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center, followed by a 6 p.m. neutral site showdown against the North Carolina A&T Aggies. The Flames' home opener will be on Jan. 26 against the Richmond Spiders.

Liberty's first Big South Conference match of 2018 will be contested at Longwood on Feb. 28. The Flames will face the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs in their conference home opener on March 9 in Lynchburg. The 2018 Big South Men's Tennis Championship will be held in Rock Hill, S.C., at Winthrop from April 16-18.

2018 Big South Conference Men's Tennis Preseason Poll
Team (first-place votes) Total Points

  1. Presbyterian (3) 49
  2. Campbell (1) 48
  3. Winthrop (2) 46
  4. Gardner-Webb (1) 41
  5. Longwood 40
  6. Liberty (1) 30
  7. UNC Asheville 19
  8. Radford 15