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Gutierrez, Doubles Pairing Advance to Finals of Liberty Invite

September 23, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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With a win on Saturday, Castano (left) and Poynter (right) advanced to Sunday's final of the White doubles flight.

With a win on Saturday, Castano (left) and Poynter (right) advanced to Sunday's final of the White doubles flight.

Liberty University Invitational Day 2 Results

With strong play, Liberty's Eddie Gutierrez and the doubles pairing of Diego Castano and Alex Poynter advanced to the championship matches in their respective divisions, Saturday on day two of the Liberty University Invitational at the Cook Tennis Center.

Through two days, the Flames have 13 total victories to their credit.

"Our guys played with a lot of heart today," said Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach Derek Schwandt. "We are excited about the opportunity to finish strong tomorrow and build on today."

Gutierrez claimed two matches in the White singles division to reach tomorrow's final, where he will face Richmond's Matthew Fernandez. Gutierrez, a junior, won his morning match over Big South opponent Fabien Ayet of Campbell, 7-6, 6-0. In the afternoon, the Mexico native knocked off another Big South foe, Presbyterian's Alberto Conde, in straight sets as well, 6-1, 6-3.

In the White doubles division, Castano and Poynter continued the theme of besting Big South rivals, knocking off Lorenz Schwab and Ondrej Labik of Campbell, 6-3. The Flames' tandem will square off with Campbell's Gerard Sola and Jonathan O'Neal in Sunday's final.

Following his first collegiate victory on Friday, Liberty freshman Sebastian Mermersky faced off against Campbell's Sola, who posted a 17-3 singles mark, last spring. Mermersky battled Sola to a three-set match in the quarterfinals of the Red singles division. Sola ultimately prevailed, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4.

Mermersky bounced back in the afternoon session, defeating Caleb Troy of Richmond, 6-3, 7-6. The first-year Liberty player will meet the Campbell Camels' Fernando Clemente for a match, Sunday.

Flames sophomore Chase Burton advanced to the semifinals of the Red singles flight with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Richmond's John Karlawish, Saturday morning. The Naples, Fla., native met 2017 Big South Freshman of the Year Amadeo Blasco from Longwood in the semifinals.

The match went to Blasco in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. The Liberty sophomore will face Campbell's Sola in singles on Sunday.

In the top doubles division, the Red doubles flight, Gutierrez and Vince Salas collected a 6-1 victory in the backdraw over VCU's Ignacio Rivero Crespo and Karl Katlaps. Liberty's pairing will meet another VCU unit, Vitor Lima and Inigo Torre Martin, Sunday at noon.

Salas captured his afternoon singles match, defeating Charlotte's Siem Fenne in three sets (6-2, 4-6, 6-1).  

In his lone match of the day, junior Max Borcuti topped Noah Milliken of Charlotte, 6-2, 6-0. Borcuti will face Presbyterian's Will Baird in the Blue singles flight on day three of the Liberty Invite.

After a morning loss to Longwood's Valentin Popescu, Poynter rebounded with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over Richmond's Joe Nardini. The Liberty junior will face Richmond's George Lovitt on the last day of competition.

Sunday's final day of competition will begin at noon from the Cook Tennis Center. Results from the invitational, as well as a recap, will be available at the conclusion of day three on LibertyFlames.com.