Against Norfolk State, Shea Thomas improved to 3-0 in both singles and doubles matches this season.
The Liberty men's tennis team continued its strong play to start the 2013 season on Saturday, defeating the Norfolk State Spartans, 6-1, at the Virginia Beach Tennis and Country Club.
Liberty remains undefeated at 3-0 with the win, marking the first time the Flames have ever begun a year with wins in each of their first three matches. With the loss, Norfolk State falls a match under .500 at 3-4.
"Our team started doubles play with great energy and focus," commented Liberty assistant coach Ryan Fitzwilliam. "The guys maintained their desire and discipline throughout the singles matches as well. I'm proud of them for beating an able opponent on the road."
The Flames opened the afternoon with wins in two out of the three doubles matches. Liberty's No. 1 pair of Shea Thomas and Egon Samaai improved to 3-0 on the season with a win over Pete Rastromer-Pello and Dzmitry Zyhmantovich, 8-2.
In the No. 2 position, the Flames' Jorge Azuero and Dillon Segur ousted Igor Braga and Robin Riethmueller, 8-3, equaling Thomas and Samaai's 3-0 mark in doubles play.
The Spartans' Daniel Grauel and Samuel Lemberger outlasted Siim Tuus and Stan Vaughan, 8-5, for the home team's lone doubles win of the day. It was the first loss for Tuus and Vaughan as a tandem, dropping their record to 2-1 on the year.
Both Tuus and Vaughan rebounded with wins in singles play for Liberty. Tuus continued his strong play in the No. 1 spot for the Flames, notching a straight-set win over Zyhmantovich, 6-3, 6-2. Vaughan also recorded a straight-set victory, knocking off Lemberger, 6-2, 6-2, in the No. 6 position to improve his season singles mark to 2-0.
Thomas collected a win in the No. 2 position for Liberty to make him three for three this season in singles tilts. The Flames junior won the first set 6-1 and was leading 3-0 in the second, before Braga had to retire due to injury.
Riethmueller earned the Spartans' lone point of the match, defeating Segur, 6-1, 6-1, in the No. 3 spot.
Liberty's remaining two points of the match came from Azuero and Samaai in the No. 4 and 5 positions, respectively. Azuero outlasted Rastromer-Pello 6-3, 7-5, and Samaai defeated Grauel by the same score.
The Flames will look to extend their season-opening winning streak to four matches tomorrow at William & Mary. The tilt versus the Tribe is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Liberty 6, Norfolk State 1 DOUBLES 1. Thomas/Samaai (LU) def. Rastromer-Pello (NSU), 8-2 2. Azuero/Segur (LU) def. Braga/Riethmueller (NSU), 8-3 3. Grauel/Lemberger (NSU) def. Tuus/Vaughan (LU), 8-5
SINGLES 1. Tuus (LU) def. Zyhmantovich (NSU), 6-3, 6-2 2. Thomas (LU) def. Braga (NSU), 6-1, 3-0 retired 3. Riethmueller (NSU) def. Segur (LU), 6-1, 6-1 4. Azuero (LU) def. Rastromer-Pello (NSU), 6-3, 7-5 5. Samaai (LU) def. Grauel (NSU), 6-3, 7-5 6. Vaughan (LU) def. Lemberger (NSU), 6-2, 6-2