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No. 29 Arizona Defeats Liberty 6-1 on Thursday Afternoon

March 14, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Muamba won his 20th singles match of the year on Thursday against Arizona.

Muamba won his 20th singles match of the year on Thursday against Arizona.

The 29th-ranked Arizona Wildcats defeated the Liberty Flames 6-1 on Thursday afternoon at the Robson Tennis Center.

The Flames are now 6-9 on the season and see their two-match winning streak snapped. Arizona bolsters its record to 12-3.

Liberty wraps up its spring break trip to Arizona with a 1-1 mark. The Flames bested Grand Canyon 5-2, Tuesday in Phoenix.

Flames sophomore Nicaise Muamba, the 109th-ranked singles player in the country, scored Liberty's lone point of the day, earning his fourth straight singles triumph and team-leading 20th victory of the year. The Laval, Quebec, Canada native erased a one-set deficit in beating the Wildcats' top singles player, Jonas Ziverts, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2 at No. 1 singles.

No. 29 Arizona 6, Liberty 1

Singles Competition
1. #109 Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTY) def. Jonas Ziverts (ARIZ) 5-7, 7-5, 6-2
2. Filip Malbasic (ARIZ) def. Josh Wilson (LIBERTY) 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. Igor Karpovets (ARIZ) def. Chase Burton (LIBERTY) 6-4, 6-1
4. Alejandro Reguant (ARIZ) def. Eddie Gutierrez (LIBERTY) 6-0, 5-7, 6-2
5. Carlos Hassey (ARIZ) def. Ian Sturgill (LIBERTY) 6-1, 6-2
6. Jonas Maier (ARIZ) def. Steve Mundt (LIBERTY) 6-1, 6-4

Doubles Competition
1. Jonas Ziverts/Igor Karpovets (ARIZ) vs. #61 Nicaise Muamba/Chase Burton (LIBERTY) 4-5, unfinished
2. Filip Malbasic/Alejandro Reguant (ARIZ) def. Josh Wilson/Ian Sturgill (LIBERTY) 6-2
3. Stewart Block/Jonas Maier (ARIZ) def. Steve Mundt/Vince Salas (LIBERTY) 6-4

Liberty 6-9
Arizona 12-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (5,6,3,4,2,1)

Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt 
"Congrats to Nicaise on out-toughing his opponent. We have to be more disciplined as a team to take the next step."

How It Happened

  • The Wildcats ended the Flames' recent run of success in doubles by taking matches on court two and three to claim the doubles point and a 1-0 edge. At No. 2, Filip Malbasic and Alejandro Reguant of Arizona defeated Liberty's Josh Wilson and Ian Sturgill 6-2.
  • The other two matches were closer, as the Flames' Steve Mundt and Vince Salas trailed Arizona's Stewart Block and Jonas Maier 5-4. Liberty's nationally-ranked duo, No. 61 Nicaise Muamba and Chase Burton, led Jonas Ziverts and Igor Karpovets by a 5-4 score on court one. Block and Maier held serve and closed out their match with Mundt and Salas, winning 6-4.
  • Muamba and Burton's match went unfinished.
  • Arizona got to four points with victories in the No. 5, No. 6 and No. 3 singles matches, in that order. The Wildcats' Carlos Hassey (No. 5) defeated Sturgill 6-1, 6-2, followed by a straight-sets victory from Maier (6-1, 6-4) against Mundt on court six. Arizona's Karpovets wrapped up the match, making it 4-0 with a two-set win (6-4, 6-1) against his counterpart, Burton.
  • Arizona's fifth and sixth points of the contest required three-set victories from their No. 4 and No. 2 singles players. After trading sets, Alejandro Reguant of Arizona (No. 4) came out on top of Eddie Gutierrez of Liberty, 6-0, 5-7, 6-2. On court two, the Wildcats' Malbasic trailed 4-1 in the third set to the Flames' Wilson. Malbasic took six of the final seven games for a 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 win.
  • Muamba's victory improves his record to 10-4 in spring singles matches. The sophomore is the first Liberty player in program history to be ranked in both singles (No. 109) and doubles (No. 61) at the same time.
  • Tuesday's match was the first-ever meeting between the Flames and Wildcats.  
  • Liberty is 0-2 against Pac-12 foes in 2019. The Flames fell to Washington 4-3 on Feb. 1 in Seattle, Wash.

Next Up

  • Liberty will be back in action on March 23 at Kennesaw State in what will be the Flames' first-ever ASUN Conference match. First serve between the Flames and Owls is pegged for 5 p.m. at the Betty Siegel Tennis Courts.
  • Liberty and KSU will be meeting for the second time. Last year, the Flames took on the Owls on Super Bowl Sunday in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Liberty prevailed 4-3 in a match which lasted four hours and 15 minutes.