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Flames Open Fall Season With Strong Showing on Day 1 of Liberty Invitational

September 13, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Ferreira won in singles and doubles for his first two collegiate wins on day one of the Liberty Invitational.

Ferreira won in singles and doubles for his first two collegiate wins on day one of the Liberty Invitational.

The Liberty men's tennis team opened its season with a strong performance on day one of the Liberty University Invitational, Friday at Crosswhite Athletic Club.

The Flames posted a 6-2 mark in singles competition and a 3-1 record in doubles matches. All matches on the first day of action were contested indoors at Crosswhite Athletic Club due to inclement weather.

"Our coaching staff was happy with the attitude, energy and fight our guys showed today," said Flames head coach Derek Schwandt. "Strong body language and playing for the team is big for us this year. We want our guys to own our theme: It's Not About You."

Liberty newcomers Goncalo Ferreira and Deji Thomas-Smith both picked up singles and doubles victories for their first career collegiate triumphs. Ferreira came back to top James Madison's Holden Koons in three sets (1-6, 6-3, 6-2), in the top draw (Red). Thomas-Smith, entered in the White draw, topped Kennesaw State's Harvey Maughan in straight sets (6-2, 7-5).

Other Flames to win in singles included a quartet of sophomores: Josh Wilson, Ian Sturgill, Steve Mundt and William Barker. Wilson, last season's ASUN Freshman of the Year, won his opening match in the Red draw (6-0, 6-4) over John Walsh of Richmond. Sturgill erased a one-set deficit to defeat Elon's Jacob Bicknell (3-6, 6-1, 6-3) in the White draw.

Mundt, competing in the Blue draw, bested Furman's Chad Nash in two sets (6-2, 6-1). Barker upended Max Zucker of Elon in straight sets (6-1, 6-3) as well.

In doubles, a pair of Flames units moved onto the Red draw semifinals with victories later in the day on Friday. Chase Burton teamed up with Sturgill for a 6-3 win against the East Carolina pairing of Diego Marques and Augustin Tamagnone. Ferreira and Wilson also advanced to the semifinals of the Red draw with a dominant 6-1 result over Kyle Frankel and Nicholas Condos of the Elon Phoenix.

In the doubles White draw, Liberty's Mundt and Thomas-Smith pulled out a tiebreaker win over Walsh and Josh Keitelman of Richmond, 7-6 (5).

Play will resume on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the Cook Tennis Center. The day will start with semifinals of doubles matches, followed by quarterfinal and semifinal matches in singles.