Shea Thomas improved to 5-0 in singles matches on Friday evening.
The Liberty Flames men's tennis squad bounced back from its first loss of the season this past Sunday, with a convincing 7-0 blanking of the visiting Morgan State Bears on Friday evening inside the Sports Racket.
With the win, Liberty equals its best five-match start in program history at 4-1. The last time the Flames began a season 4-1 was in 2001. The Bears remain winless on the year and drop to 0-8.
The Flames began the evening with wins in the No. 1 and No. 3 doubles positions. Liberty's Dillon Segur and Jorge Azuero were leading in the No. 2 spot, 7-4, before their match was halted once the Flames clinched the doubles point.
Liberty's Siim Tuus and Stan Vaughan made quick work of Eric Ward and Jannick Tash in the No. 3 position, winning 8-3. The Flames' duo improved to 3-2 on the season, ending a two-match losing skid.
Shea Thomas and Egon Samaai bounced back from their first doubles loss of the season Sunday at William & Mary with a dominating 8-3 victory over Ondre Cargill and Dmitriy Borodkin in the No. 1 spot. Liberty's top doubles tandem upped their record to 5-1 on the year.
Samaai continued his strong play to begin the season, extending the Flames' lead to 2-0 with a win in the No. 5 position in singles play. The Liberty freshman made quickly ousted Eric Ward, winning 6-0, 6-2, making it four wins in his last five matches for the South African native.
Senior Tuus upped his overall mark on the season to 5-0 with a straight-set win over Borodkin, 6-0, 6-2 in the No. 1 spot, increasing Liberty's advantage to 3-0.
Needing just one more point to take the match, Thomas delivered the clinching point for the Flames in the No. 2 position. The California native equaled Tuus' 5-0 season record, after downing Duk Young-Park, 6-0, 6-3.
In the No. 4 spot, Azuero continued Liberty's string of straight-set victories. The sophomore defeated Cargill 6-2, 6-0 to remain perfect on the season in singles matches at 3-0.
Vaughan knocked off Tash in a shortened match, 8-1, playing out of the No. 6 position. Segur concluded play for the Flames, winning a hard fought, 7-6, 7-5, contest over Evan Ward. With the victories, Vaughan improves to 3-1 on the year, while Segur moves a match over .500 at 3-2.
"The guys continue to play well," commented Liberty head coach Chris Johnson. "With our conference schedule getting ready to start it is important to keep our momentum going."
Next up, the Flames will entertain Longwood in their Big South conference opener on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Liberty 7, Morgan State 0 DOUBLES 1. Thomas/Samaai (LU) def. Cargill/Borodkin (MSU), 8-3 2. Segur/Azuero (LU) vs. Young-Park/Evan Ward (MSU), 7-4 DNF 3. Tuus/Vaughan (LU) def. Eric Ward/Tash (MSU), 8-3
SINGLES 1. Tuus (LU) def. Borodkin (MSU), 6-0, 6-2 2. Thomas (LU) def. Young-Park (MSU), 6-0, 6-3 3. Segur (LU) def. Evan Ward (MSU), 7-6, 7-5 4. Azuero (LU) def. Cargill (MSU), 6-2, 6-0 5. Samaai (LU) def. Eric Ward (MSU), 6-1, 6-2 6. Vaughan (LU) def. Tash (MSU), 8-1