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Flames Ousted by Gardner-Webb, 6-1

March 23, 2013  Boiling Springs, N.C.  RSS
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Guillem Secanell captured a doubles win with partner Siim Tuus on Saturday.

Guillem Secanell captured a doubles win with partner Siim Tuus on Saturday.

The Liberty Flames tennis team swept through the doubles matches on Saturday afternoon against Gardner-Webb, but the Runnin' Bulldogs rebounded in singles play to claim a 6-1 victory over the visitors at the Webb Tennis Complex.

The loss drops the Flames to 9-6 (2-2 Big South) on the year, while the Runnin' Bulldogs improve to 8-5 (2-2 Big South) overall.

"Every team has its peaks and valleys and this one is no different," said Liberty head coach Chris Johnson. "This team has a lot of character. We will turn the corner soon and get back to playing winning tennis."

Liberty began the afternoon with wins in each of the three doubles matches for the fifth time this season. Shea Thomas and Egon Samaai ousted Benjamin Kaszas and Matt Parker 8-2, to become the first Flames' tandem to reach 10 victories this season. Dillon Segur and Jorge Azuero followed up Thomas and Samaai's win with an 8-4 defeat of Ernest Alberch and Nikita Zverkov in the No. 2 spot.

Siim Tuus and Guillem Secanell completed the sweep for the Flames in the No. 3 position. The duo improved to 2-0 on the year after downing Brendan Dempsey and Joao Poli, 8-6.

Singles play began with a win by Knutsson over Tuus in the No. 1 position, 6-0, 6-2. In the No. 6 spot, Liberty's Stan Vaughan pushed Dempsey to three sets, but fell 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

The Flames' No. 5 singles player, Samaai, was defeated by Zverkov, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), before Kaszas downed Thomas 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the No. 2 position.

Gardner-Webb completed the sweep of the singles contests as Roman Piftor won against Segur, 6-4, 4-6, 10-1, and Alberch ousted Azuero, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3.

Liberty looks to get back in the win column when Presbyterian College comes to the Hill City on Thursday for a 1 p.m. match at the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts.

Gardner-Webb 6, Liberty 1
1. Thomas/Samaai (LU) def. Kaszas/Parker (GWU), 8-2
2. Segur/Azuero (LU) def. Alberch/Zverkov (GWU), 8-4
3. Tuus/Secanell (LU) def. Dempsey/Poli (GWU), 8-6

1. Knutsson (GWU) def. Tuus (LU), 6-0, 6-2
2. Kaszas (GWU) def. Thomas (LU), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3)
3. Piftor (GWU def. Segur (LU), 6-4, 4-6, 10-1
4. Alberch (GWU) def. Azuero (LU), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3
5. Zverkov (GWU) def. Samaai (LU), 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)
6. Dempsey (GWU) def. Vaughan (LU), 6-3, 3-6, 6-2