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Liberty to Host Commonwealth Foe George Mason on Friday

March 1, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The Flames (6-6) and Patriots (2-5) will play at noon on Friday in Lynchburg.

The Flames (6-6) and Patriots (2-5) will play at noon on Friday in Lynchburg.

Winners of three of its last four matches, including its Big South opener on Wednesday, Liberty men's tennis will welcome Commonwealth opponent George Mason to Lynchburg on Friday for a non-conference match.

The Flames (6-6, 1-0 Big South) and Patriots (2-5, 0-2 A10) are set to begin at noon at Crosswhite Athletic Club (118 Davis Cup Rd., Lynchburg).

Liberty is coming off a 5-2 Big South-opening victory at Longwood on Wednesday afternoon. In that match, the Flames claimed the doubles point and won the No. 2 (Eddie Gutierrez), No. 3 (Chase Burton), No. 5 (Alex Poynter) and No. 6 (Diego Castano) singles duels.

Meanwhile, George Mason will be looking to end a five-match losing skid that started on Feb. 10. The Patriots dropped their most recent match, 7-0, last Friday at home against James Madison.  

Series History
This will be the fifth-ever meeting between Liberty and George Mason. Liberty is 4-0 in the all-time series. The Flames defeated the Patriots, 4-3, in their most recent meeting on Feb. 10, 2017 in Montclair, Va. In that match, Max Borcuti's victory on court six broke a 3-3 tie and gave Liberty the win.

How to Follow the Flames
Live scoring will be available for the match, courtesy of Liberty Athletics Communications.  Find the link for live stats on the men's tennis schedule page on LibertyFlames.com.

Be sure to follow @LUMensTennis on Twitter and follow "libertyumenstennis" on Instagram for live updates from Crosswhite Athletic Club.

Flames News and Notes

  • The Flames have won three of their last four matches, including victories over New Orleans (7-0 last Friday), Florida A&M (5-1 last Saturday) and Longwood (5-2 on Wednesday). Their only setback came at No. 16 Florida State, last Saturday.
  • Liberty has won the doubles point in eight of 11 matches in which doubles were played. The Flames are 17-11 in doubles during the spring campaign.
  • The doubles duo of junior Eddie Gutierrez and sophomore Vince Salas paces the Big South Conference with eight doubles victories in the spring. In 2018, they have defeated notable duos from Virginia Tech, Auburn and Virginia.
  • Gutierrez (17-10 overall, 7-4 spring) is one victory shy of tying his career best for singles victories in a season. The Mexico City, Mexico native won 18 matches as a freshman during the 2015-16 campaign.
  • Senior Diego Castano has proved to be a valuable player at the back end of the Liberty lineup. The Statesville, N.C., native is first in the Big South with six No. 6 singles victories and boasts a .667 winning percentage (6-3) in that position.  

Scouting George Mason
The Patriots' Carter Bradford holds the best singles mark in spring competition at 5-2 and is 4-0 playing in the No. 6 slot. Edward Ayers (10-6 overall, 2-3 spring) will pose a challenge for the Flames in the top half of the George Mason lineup. Collectively, the Patriots are 14-26 in singles and 6-14 in doubles through seven matches.

Head coach Jimmy Davis' squad participated in the 2017 ITA Atlantic Regional, hosted by Liberty at the Cook Tennis Center. The Flames' Gutierrez and sophomore Chase Burton each earned victories over their counterparts from George Mason that week. Gutierrez bested the Patriots' Pally Ray, 6-4, 6-4 in the round of 128 in the singles main draw. Burton bested George Mason's Jakob Nielsen 7-6 (2), 6-0 in the round of 64.