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Liberty Men's Tennis Ready for 2 Big South Home Bouts, This Weekend

March 8, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The Flames (7-7, 1-0 BSC) will face Gardner-Webb (6-9, 0-2 BSC) and UNC Asheville (3-7, 0-1 BSC) in Big South action, this weekend.

The Flames (7-7, 1-0 BSC) will face Gardner-Webb (6-9, 0-2 BSC) and UNC Asheville (3-7, 0-1 BSC) in Big South action, this weekend.

Live Scoring: Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb
Live Scoring: Liberty vs. UNC Asheville
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Liberty Flames men's tennis will play its second and third Big South Conference matches of the spring, hosting the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs and UNC Asheville Bulldogs, this weekend.

Friday's match between Liberty (7-7, 1-0 Big South) and Gardner-Webb (6-9, 0-2 Big South) will be contested at 2 p.m. at the Cook Tennis Center. Saturday's match between the Flames and Asheville (3-7, 0-1 Big South) will begin at 1 p.m. at the Cook Tennis Center. 

Liberty comes into the weekend a half game back of Campbell (2-0 BSC) and Winthrop (2-0 BSC) in the league standings. The Flames have won four of their last six matches overall, including a 5-2 triumph in their Big South opener at Longwood on Feb. 28.

Gardner-Webb, who finished second in the Big South regular season standings a year ago, is in search of its first league win of 2018 following setbacks to Campbell and Winthrop. UNC Asheville, who upset No. 2 seed Gardner-Webb in the 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship as the No. 7 seed, lost its conference opener to Winthrop, 5-2, last Sunday.

How to Follow the Flames  
Live scoring, courtesy of Liberty Athletics Communications, will be available for both matches over the weekend. Find the link for live scoring on the Liberty men's tennis schedule page on

In addition, follow @LibertyMTennis on Twitter and "libertyumenstennis" on Instagram for match updates and live look-ins throughout Friday and Saturday's matches.

Series History
Liberty is 8-10 all-time against Gardner-Webb. The Flames narrowly lost, 4-3, last year (March 25, 2017) to the Runnin' Bulldogs in Boiling Springs, N.C. In that match, Liberty won the doubles point and received singles victories from Chase Burton (No. 2 singles) and Eddie Gutierrez (No. 4).

The Flames and UNC Asheville have squared off 27 times, with the Bulldogs winning 16 of those matchups. Last year, Asheville defeated Liberty, 5-2, in the two teams' Big South regular-season finales on April 13, 2017 in Asheville, N.C.  

Flames News and Notes

  • Three Flames are currently in the top 10 in career singles victories in program history: Diego Castano (4th, 64), Sam Matheson (8th, 58) and Eddie Gutierrez (10th, 49).
  • With his straight-set (6-4, 6-4) victory over William & Mary's Brenden Volk last Saturday, Flames senior Castano moved into solo fifth place all-time for career singles victories with 64.
  • The Flames were picked to finish sixth in the Big South Men's Tennis Preseason Poll. Defending champion Presbyterian (49 points) is the slight favorite in the league, just barely ahead of Campbell (48 points). Gardner-Webb (41 points) was pegged to finish fourth in the conference, while UNC Asheville (19 points) was listed behind Liberty in the No. 7 position. 
  • Gutierrez has been Liberty's most consistent player throughout the year with an 18-11 overall record and 8-5 spring singles record. Of those eight spring singles victories, five have come in three-set fashion for the Mexico City, Mexico, native, including the last four.
  • A win over Gardner-Webb or UNC Asheville will put the Flames over their win total (7) from 2017. Liberty already has seven wins under first-year head coach Derek Schwandt.


Scouting Gardner-Webb
Junior Maximilian Scholl, a first team All-Big South honoree in 2017, paces the squad with a 7-5 mark in the No. 1 singles position. Senior Adam Schmidt is 7-6 playing in the back half of the Runnin' Bulldogs' lineup. Head coach Mike Griffith's strongest doubles units have been Millen Hurrion and Scholl (4-0) and Scholl and Breno Plentz (5-1).

Scouting UNC Asheville
In singles, the Bulldogs' two most consistent players have been junior Olly Cull (6-4) and freshman Finlay Ray McFadyen (6-4). 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Player of the Year Henry Patten is 3-2 in the No. 1 singles slot. Patten and his doubles partner Cull are a perfect 5-0 in 2018. Head coach Tom Hand is in his fifth year in charge of the Asheville men's tennis program.