Scores & Schedule Close keyboard_arrow_down

Team News

2018 Men's Tennis Spring Season Recap

June 20, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
|   Share
Video Views: 7658

Nick Pierce of the Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN) had a chance to catch up with Flames men's tennis head coach Derek Schwandt following the conclusion of the 2018 season.

Pierce and Schwandt, the 2018 Big South Men's Tennis Coach of the Year, recapped the spring season and looked forward to the future.

Liberty won 12 matches in 2018, a five-win improvement from a year ago. The Flames opened their Big South slate with a 4-0 record for the first time in program history.    

2018 Spring Season Highlights

  • Flames senior Sam Matheson was voted to the Big South Conference First Team All-Conference Singles list. Matheson won 13 matches in the No. 1 slot in 2018, highlighted by wins over Virginia's Carl Soderlund (No. 24 in nation at season's end) and UNC Asheville's Henry Patten (No. 60 in nation at season's end).
  • Liberty sophomore Chase Burton, the Flames' team captain, was named to the Big South Conference Second Team All-Conference Singles list. Burton, a two-time all-conference selection, posted a 15-9 mark in dual matches, including an 11-5 ledger at No. 3 singles. The Naples, Fla., native closed the year on a seven-match winning streak.
  • Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach Derek Schwandt was named Big South Coach of the Year in his first season with the Flames. Schwandt guided the Flames to 12 wins. From Feb. 23-March 24, Liberty won nine of its 12 matches.
  • Junior Eddie Gutierrez was tabbed Big South Player of the Week on Feb. 14 for the first time in his Flames career. Gutierrez finished the year with 23 wins (13 in the spring) and now ranks ninth in program history for career singles wins with 54.
  • Senior Diego Castano wrapped up his Liberty career with 71 doubles victories (No. 5 in program history) and 66 singles wins (No. 5 in program history). The Statesville, N.C., native won 22 singles matches during the year and went 14-5 (.737) at No. 6 singles, the best mark of any Big South player in that position.
  • The Flames won a thrilling 4-3 match at Kennesaw State on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 4). Tied 3-3, Castano delivered a three-set triumph over the Owls' Hunter Wood (6-2, 3-6, 6-3) to claim victory.
  • Castano and sophomore Vince Salas pulled out three-set victories in the final two matches (No. 6 singles, No. 4 singles), helping the Flames defeat the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs, 4-3, on March 9 at the Cook Tennis Center. Liberty ran its conference record to 2-0 and overall record to 8-7 with the victory.
  • Liberty closed out its time in California for spring break with a 5-2 triumph at San Diego State (March 21). Liberty took the doubles point and won four of six singles bouts. The battle between the Flames and Aztecs featured five three-set matches.
  • The Flames captured the doubles point in their first five matches of the season, including at Virginia Tech on Jan. 19 (finished season No. 40 in country) and at Auburn on Feb. 2. Liberty's pairing of Castano and junior Alex Poynter led all Flames doubles teams with 16 wins on the year, including 11 in the spring.
  • Liberty posted an above .500 record in both doubles (30-28, .517) and singles (68-66, .507) competition, this spring.