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2019 ASUN Men's Tennis Championship Preview

April 17, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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No. 2 seed Liberty will begin its journey for an ASUN title in the semifinal round of the 2019 ASUN Men's Tennis Championship, Friday evening.

The Flames wrapped up the regular season with a 12-10 overall record and a 6-1 mark in the ASUN to earn the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.

The three-day championship will be contested at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center at Stetson in DeLand, Fla., Thursday through Saturday. The tournament commences with quarterfinal matches, Thursday. The Flames will meet either No. 3 seed North Florida (12-10, 5-2 ASUN) or No. 6 seed Lipscomb (7-13, 2-5 ASUN), who will square off on Thursday at 5 p.m. Liberty will face the winner at 5 p.m., Friday.

On the other half of the bracket, FGCU (12-8, 7-0 ASUN) is the top seed and will await the winner between No. 4 seed Kennesaw State (10-12, 4-3 ASUN) and No. 5 seed Stetson (11-11, 3-4 ASUN).

The championship match will be contested on Saturday at 1 p.m. and carried live on ESPN+

The winner of the championship will earn an automatic bid to the 2019 Division I Men's Tennis Championship

Below is the schedule for the championship:

2019 ASUN Men's Tennis Championship – Mandy Stoll Tennis Center – DeLand, Fla.
Thursday, April 18 – Quarterfinals
Match 1 – No. 4 seed Kennesaw State vs. No. 5 seed Stetson, 2:30 p.m.
Match 2 – No. 3 seed North Florida vs. No. 6 seed Lipscomb, 5 p.m.

Friday, April 19 – Semifinals
Match 3 – No. 1 seed Florida Gulf Coast vs. Match 1 winner, 2:30 p.m.
Match 4 – No. 2 seed Liberty vs. Match 2 winner, 5 p.m.

Saturday, April 20 – Final
Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 1 p.m. – ESPN+

History in ASUN Championship/Series History vs. North Florida/Lipscomb
Liberty is making its first-ever appearance in the ASUN Championship. The Flames were picked to finish third in the league.

Liberty defeated North Florida (April 6) and Lipscomb (March 30) by identical 4-3 scores this season. Both those matches were tied at 3-3 and required a third set on the final court to decide a winner. In the Flames' win over Lipscomb, freshman Josh Wilson came back to beat the Bisons' Pablo Caffarena in three sets (6-7 (8), 6-4, 7-5).

On April 6 against UNF, senior Eddie Gutierrez delivered a come-from-behind three-set win over Jorge Nunez (5-7, 6-4, 6-4) on his Senior Day. Gutierrez's victory lifted Liberty to a 5-0 mark in the ASUN.

How to Follow the Flames
Stetson Athletic Communications will provide live scoring throughout the tournament. Find the links on the schedule page of LibertyFlames.com/menstennis. Saturday's championship match will be featured live on ESPN+.

Also, follow @LUMensTennis on Twitter and Instagram (libertyumentennis) for periodic updates throughout the weekend. Find the links on the schedule page of LibertyFlames.com/menstennis.

Flames News and Notes

  • Liberty is in search of its first conference title in school history. The Flames are also looking for their first-ever berth in a conference championship final.
  • Liberty is 6-1 over its last matches, with its only setback coming to No. 1 seed FGCU, last Thursday.
  • This is only the second time in program history that Liberty received the No. 2 seed for a conference tournament. The Flames were the No. 2 seed at the 2015 Big South Men's Tennis Championship. Liberty has never been the No. 1 seed at a championship.
  • The Flames featured a league-best six ASUN Player of the Week selections, this season. Sophomore Nicaise Muamba earned the distinction a conference-best four times. Wilson and Gutierrez both garnered the honor once, this spring.
  • Muamba and Wilson have been steady presences at the top of Liberty's lineup. They are a combined 32-11 (Muamba 16-5, Wilson 16-5) in singles, this spring. Both players went 6-1 in ASUN singles bouts.
  • In doubles, Liberty is led by the No. 1 duo of Muamba and Chase Burton (10-7). The duo has three ranked victories this year (William & Mary, Virginia Tech, North Florida). Steve Mundt and Vince Salas are 10-6 in doubles this spring, followed by Ian Sturgill and Wilson (7-5).
  • On April 6, Gutierrez delivered a memorable moment on his Senior Day. His improbable point was featured as the No. 3 play on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 Plays listing.