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Quartet of Flames Earn Big South Men's Tennis All-Conference Nods

April 15, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Shea Thomas earned a spot on the Big South All-Conference singles and doubles team.

Shea Thomas earned a spot on the Big South All-Conference singles and doubles team.

Four members of the Liberty men's tennis team, Shea Thomas, Jorge Azuero, Dillon Segur and Egon Samaai, earned Big South All-Conference recognition, as announced on Tuesday by the league office. Thomas was tabbed to the all-conference singles squad, as well as the doubles team with teammate Azuero. Samaai and Segur also earned a spot on the all-conference doubles lineup. Additionally, Azuero garnered inclusion on the all-academic team for the second consecutive season.

Thomas becomes the first player in Liberty history to earn all-conference honors in both singles and doubles play in back-to-back seasons. The senior also becomes just the second Flame in program annals to be named to the all-conference singles squad more than once and is just one of three players to be tabbed to the all-conference doubles team multiple times as well.

Thomas has posted a team-best 13-7 singles record this season, with all but one of those wins coming in the No. 1 position. The Petaluma, Calif., native went 5-3 in Big South play and closed the regular season by winning seven out of his final 10 matches. This season, Thomas became Liberty's all-time leader in doubles wins and is currently one win shy of tying the all-time singles record.

Thomas and Azuero earned a spot on the all-conference doubles team after receiving a No. 19 national ranking earlier this season. The ranking is the highest ever in either doubles or singles action in Big South history.

A year after being named the Big South Men's Tennis Scholar Athlete of the Year, Azuero once again landed a spot on the All-Academic team for the second consecutive season. The junior holds a 3.84 GPA as a finance major. On the court, Azuero posted seven singles wins and eight doubles victories this season.

Samaai and Segur join Thomas and Azuero on the all-conference doubles team, marking the first year in program history in which Liberty has landed two doubles tandems on the all-conference squad. Samaai and Segur notched a team-best 12-4 record this spring, including a 6-2 mark in Big South play. The duo is 8-2 in its last ten matches. This is the second consecutive conference doubles honor for Samaai. The sophomore was tabbed to the squad last season with Thomas.

Presbyterian College's Grayson Mills was voted the Big South Conference Men's Tennis Player of the Year, while Blue Hose head coach Adam Herendeen was tabbed the league's Coach of the Year. Presbyterian College's Diego Manzanas was selected Freshman of the Year, while the league's sports information directors voted Radford's Nicholas Sayer as the Big South Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

The first round of the Big South Men's Tennis Championship gets under way tomorrow with one match. No. 3 seed Liberty opens the tournament on Thursday with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 6 seed Coastal Carolina at 11:30 a.m.

2014 Big South Conference Men's Tennis All-Conference And Award Winners
Men's Tennis Flight Winners

No. 1 singles – Grayson Mills, Presbyterian College
No. 2 singles – Patrick O'Keefe, Radford
No. 3 singles – Dylan Comerford, Winthrop
No. 4 singles – Brendan Dempsey, Gardner-Webb
No. 5 singles – Juan Pablo Boada, Winthrop
No. 6 singles – Gonzalo Asis, Presbyterian College
                         Diego Manzanas, Presbyterian College

No. 1 Doubles – Leo Christofides/Philippe Tsangaridis, Coastal Carolina
No. 2 Doubles – Renan Samad/Garik Yedigarian, Coastal Caorlina
No. 3 Doubles – Diego Manzanas/Grayson Mills, Presbyterian College

All-Conference Singles
Grayson Mills, Presbyterian College
Nicholas Sayer, Radford
Fernando Guillen, Campbell
Philippe Tsangaridis, Coastal Carolina
Shea Thomas, Liberty
Ted Nilsson, Coastal Carolina
Dylan Comerford, Winthrop
Ernest Alberch, Gardner-Webb
Patrick O'Keefe, Radford

All-Conference Doubles
Alex Croker and Brett Landau, UNC Asheville
Philippe Tsangaridis and Leo Christofides, Coastal Carolina
Egon Samaai and Dillon Segur, Liberty
Shea Thomas and Jorge Azuero, Liberty

All-Academic Team
Fernando Guillen, Campbell
Leo Christofides, Coastal Carolina
Brendan Dempsey, Gardner-Webb
Jorge Azuero, Liberty
Edward Becker, Longwood
Gonzalo Asis, Presbyterian College
Nicholas Sayer, Radford
Daniel Kripak, UNC Asheville
Peter Nagovnak, Winthrop

Player of the Year
Grayson Mills, Presbyterian College

Freshman of the Year
Diego Manzanas, Presbyterian College

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Nicholas Sayer, Radford

Coach of the Year
Adam Herendeen, Presbyterian College