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Flames Wrap Up Week with Two Matches

February 2, 2012  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Siim Tuus and the Flames host their first matches of 2012 this weekend.

Siim Tuus and the Flames host their first matches of 2012 this weekend.

The Liberty men's tennis team will face contests on back-to-back days at Lynchburg's Sports Racket this weekend, as they host their first matches of 2012.  The Flames host Richmond on Friday and Averett on Saturday, with start time of 4 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.

The Flames' Saturday meeting with Averett was originally scheduled for 4 p.m., following a 1 p.m. women's match.  However, due to a postponement for the women's contest, the men will now begin at 1 p.m.

Liberty opened up its spring campaign last week, when it swept Bluefield State, 7-0, at the Greenbrier Resort.  The Flames' victory marked the second time in the last three years in which they began the season with a sweep.  In 2009, Liberty opened the season by taking down Morgan State, 7-0, on Jan. 22.

In the season-opener, Liberty jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead by sweeping the doubles matches, before the experienced Flames secured the first four singles matches.  Freshmen Dillon Segur and Wayne Harrell wrapped up the sweep in the final two slots in head coach Chris Johnson's lineup, earning the first dual singles victories of their collegiate career.

Thursday will be the first time the Flames have competed at the Sports Racket since the 2010 season.  Liberty went 1-1 at the Sports Racket that season, with their last match being a 7-0 victory over Bluefield State.  Dating back to the 2006 season, the Flames are 4-4 in matches taking place at the indoor facility.

Liberty and Richmond will be clashing for the 11th time on the tennis courts, Friday.  While the Spiders claimed the first seven matches in the series, the Flames have reeled off three consecutive victories.  Last season, Liberty defeated the Spiders in Richmond by a 4-3 margin.

The Spiders have been predicted to finish in the middle of the Atlantic 10 this season, coming in sixth out of 12 teams in the conference's preseason poll.  Through five matches already this spring, Richmond has a 1-4 record, with its sole victory coming over Delaware, 4-3, last Sunday.

On Saturday, the Flames aim to continue their dominance over Averett, as they hold an 11-1 record against the Cougars.  Scoring all matches, the Flames knocked off Averett 8-1 last season in Danville, Va., for their seventh straight win in the series.  Saturday will be the Cougars' first match of 2012.

Fans not being able to attend the matches at the Sports Racket may follow live stats by clicking here, or by clicking the live stats link on the schedule page.