Sturgill and the Flames (5-3) topped William & Mary 4-3, Sunday in Williamsburg.
The Flames men's tennis team rebounded from losing the doubles point to defeat the host William & Mary Tribe 4-3, Sunday at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center.
The Flames improve their record to 5-3 on the year while handing William & Mary (4-1) its first loss of 2020.
Liberty has now won now three matches this season in which it has lost the doubles point. The Flames previously bested Virginia Tech (4-3 last Sunday) and Longwood (6-1, Jan. 31) after dropping the doubles session.
Reigning ASUN Player of the Week Josh Wilson completed the Flames comeback with a three-set (6-7, 6-3, 6-4) triumph over the Tribe's Finbar Talcott on court two, which put Liberty ahead 4-2 at the time.
The Flames have now defeated the Tribe each of the last two years after losing the first seven all-time meetings. Liberty topped William & Mary by a 6-1 final exactly one year ago today (Feb. 16, 2019) at Boonsboro Country Club in Lynchburg for the program's first-ever win over the Tribe.
Liberty 4, William & Mary 3
Singles Competition 1. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) def. Joseph Brailovsky (WM) 6-3, 6-3 2. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) def. Finbar Talcott (WM) 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 3. Sebastian Quiros (WM) def. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 4. Brenden Volk (WM) def. Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 6-3 5. R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) def. George Davis (WM) 7-6, 6-0 6. Ian Sturgill (LIBERTYM) def. Daniel Pellerito (WM) 7-5, 6-3
Doubles Competition 1. Brenden Volk/George Davis (WM) def. Steve Mundt/Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 6-3 2. Joseph Brailovsky/Chen Ruo (WM) vs. Josh Wilson/Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) 6-6, unfinished 3. Finbar Talcott/Daniel Pellerito (WM) def. Ian Sturgill/Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) 7-5
Liberty 5-3 William & Mary 4-1 Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (4,5,6,1,2,3) T-3:15
Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt "Our guys continued to reveal their character in today's match. We responded well to a tough doubles point and fought until the end."
How It Happened • Liberty claimed four of the six singles matches (No. 5, No. 6, No. 1 and No. 2) to earn the victory. • The Tribe built a 2-0 lead following doubles victories from Brenden Folk and George Davis (No. 1) and Finbar Talcott and Daniel Pellerito (No. 3), as well as a singles win from Volk on court four (6-3, 6-3) over Flames freshman Goncalo Ferreira. • Folk and Davis topped Liberty's Steve Mundt and Nicaise Muamba 6-3. Meanwhile, Talcott and Pellerito were tied 5-5 and down 40-0 to the Flames' Ian Sturgill and Deji Thomas-Smith before rallying for a 7-5 win. The Tribe duo won a deuce point to take the match. • Trailing 2-0, Liberty freshman Rafael Marques Da Silva put the visitors' first point on the board with his 7-6, 6-0 decision over Davis on court five. The São Paulo, Brazil, native is now 7-1 (6-1 at No. 5, 1-0 at No. 2) in spring singles contests. • The Flames' Sturgill squared up the match at 2-all with his two-set win (7-5, 6-3) versus Pellerito on court six. Liberty then took its first lead of the day, a 3-2 edge, when Muamba downed Joseph Brailovsky in a pair of sets, 6-3, 6-3. Sturgill and Muamba share the team lead with 15 singles victories apiece during the 2019-20 campaign. • The final two matches on court (No. 2, No. 3) were decided in three sets. Wilson's comeback win (6-7, 6-3, 6-4) over Talcott gave Liberty its fourth point and the win. The two competitors were tied at 4-4 in the third set before Wilson's took the final two games to secure the victory and a 4-2 Flames advantage. • Wilson has clinched each of the Flames' last two victories. The Liberty sophomore also gave the Flames their first-ever victory over Virginia Tech (4-3 final) with a three set win, last Sunday. • Liberty senior Chase Burton and William & Mary junior Sebastian Quiros battled into a third set as well. Quiros took the opening set 6-2, but Burton bounced back with a 7-5 second set victory to force a third set. The Flames senior trailed 4-3 in the third before winning the next two games. With Burton leading 5-4 and 40-0 in the next game, Quiros stormed back to win that game and the next two for a 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 win. • Quiros' victory did not have a bearing on the outcome of the match but provided the Tribe its third point of the day to bring the final score to 4-3 in favor of Liberty. • This is the first 4-3 win of the season for the Flames and first since a 4-3 home Senior Day victory over North Florida, April 6, 2019. • Liberty is now 2-2 in road matches in 2020. The Flames hold a 3-1 home mark. • This is the Flames' best eight-match start (5-3) to a season since the 2013 squad opened the year 7-1.
Next Up • The Flames will wrap up a four-match road trip with a bout at Penn State, Friday evening. First serve is set for 6 p.m. in State College, Pa. • This is the first time Liberty and Penn State will meet in a dual match. The two teams are both in the ITA Atlantic Regional on a yearly basis in fall competition, but they have never faced off in a spring match.
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