Castano won his singles match on Friday at UC Irvine, his fourth consecutive singles victory.
In a battle two teams playing well of late, host UC Irvine came out on top, 4-1, over visiting Liberty on Friday afternoon at the Anteater Tennis Stadium.
The Anteaters, who also defeated Yale earlier in the day on Friday, improve to 10-7 and have now won seven straight matches. Liberty falls to 9-8 and sees its two-match winning streak come to an end.
"Our effort and fight was solid today. The match came down to three three-setters," said Flames head coach Derek Schwandt. "We need to hold each other accountable to a higher and higher standard of discipline moving forward. I'm proud of our team's character. Alex and Vince did a great job to extend this match and keep our team alive."
Liberty's Diego Castano was the lone Flame to win his match on Friday. The senior from Statesville, N.C. continued his excellent play in the No. 6 singles slot, winning 6-0, 7-5 over Bruce Man-Son-Hing. Castano is now 10-3 this spring in the No. 6 position in the lineup.
UC Irvine exhibited strong play on its home courts in the doubles session. The Anteaters claimed matches on courts two and three to make it 1-0. In the No. 3 match, UC Irvine's Luis Lopez and Daniel Gealer upended the Flames' Sam Matheson and Chase Burton, 6-2.
On court two, Vatsal Bajpai and Man-Son-Hing of UC Irvine clinched the first point of the day with their 6-2 triumph against Eddie Gutierrez and Vince Salas.
After seeing his doubles match go unfinished, UC Irvine's Luca Marquard boosted the home lead to 2-0 with his 6-1, 6-2 victory over Burton on court three.
Castano's win over Man-Son-Hing sliced the lead deficit in half (2-1), but it was short-lived. Following his doubles win, the Anteaters' top singles player, Lopez, defeated Liberty's Sam Matheson, 6-4, 6-3, in the No. 1 singles match.
UC Irvine's No. 2 singles player, Sasha Krashnov needed three sets to get past Gutierrez, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Krashnov's victory on court two wrapped up the match for the Anteaters, bringing the final score to 4-1.
Play on courts four and five was halted following Krashnov's victory. Salas (Liberty) and Gealer (UC Irvine) were in the third set with Salas leading, 2-1. In the No. 5 match, Alex Poynter (Liberty) and Mason Hansen (UC Irvine) split the first two sets, and Hansen held a 2-1 edge in the third. Both Salas and Poynter won tiebreakers in their second sets against their foes to extend the match.
The Flames will be back in action tomorrow at Point Loma Nazarene (7-4). First serve is set for 3 p.m. (Eastern) at the PLNU Tennis Courts in San Diego, Calif.
UC Irvine 4, Liberty 1 Singles competition 1. Luis Lopez (UCI) def. MATHESON, Sam (LIBERTYM) 6-4, 6-3 2. Sasha Krasnov (UCI) def. GUTIERREZ, Eddie (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 3. Luca Marquard (UCI) def. BURTON, Chase (LIBERTYM) 6-1, 6-2 4. Daniel Gealer (UCI) vs. SALAS, Vince (LIBERTYM) 6-4, 6-7, 1-2, unfinished 5. Mason Hansen (UCI) vs. POYNTER, Alex (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 6-7, 2-1, unfinished 6. CASTANO, Diego (LIBERTYM) def. Bruce Man-Son-Hing (UCI) 6-0, 7-5
Doubles competition 1. Mason Hansen/Luca Marquard (UCI) vs. POYNTER, Alex/CASTANO, Diego (LIBERTYM) 4-4, unfinished 2. Vatsal Bajpai/Bruce Man-Son-Hing (UCI) def. GUTIERREZ, Eddie/SALAS, Vince (LIBERTYM) 6-2 3. Luis Lopez/Daniel Gealer (UCI) def. MATHESON, Sam/BURTON, Chase (LIBERTYM) 6-2
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,6,1,2)