The Liberty Flames men's tennis squad battled toe-to-toe with No. 71 Miami, nearly pulling off the upset, falling 4-2 at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, Liberty drops its third consecutive contest, falling to 4-4. Meanwhile Miami halts its four match losing streak to improve to 2-4.
Despite falling to the Hurricanes, the Flames had their chance to capture wins, forcing four three-set matches on the evening.
Miami began the contest with a doubles victory from the No. 2 slot, following Wilfredo Gonzalez and Kevin Bondar besting Jorge Azuero and Egon Samaai, 6-2.
Liberty's double tandem of Dillon Segur and Diego Castano evened the doubles scoring at one apiece after ousting Henrique Tsukamoto and Piotr Lomacki, 6-4, from the No. 1 doubles position.
The Hurricanes clinched the doubles point with a 6-3 victory coming from Nile Clark and Andrew Harrington over David Bush and Sam Matheson.
Gonzalez pushed the lead to 2-0 after defeating Azuero in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1 from the No. 4 singles position.
The Flames picked up their first point of the contest from the No. 5 singles slot. Castano bested Clark, 6-2, 7-6 to pull Liberty to within one.
Miami picked up a third point to provide some breathing room after Christian Langmo secured a three-set victory over Samaai, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2.
Liberty still had some fight left with Matheson corralling a three-set winner of his own over Tsukamoto, 2-6, 6-0, 6-2 to pull the red and blue to within one.
However, with both remaining matches in the third set, Harrington bested Bush 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to clinch the match and avoid the scare put on by the Flames.
With the match already in hand, 4-2, Segur's showdown with No. 56 Lomacki was called before the two could conclude the No. 1 singles match.
"We want to be tested at the highest levels," stated head coach Chris Johnson. "Our guys fought hard and left it all out there. It says a lot when we bring our best fight on the third day out of three straight matches. I am very happy with the progress we are making as a team."
Liberty returns to action on Feb. 21 when they travel to Kennesaw, Ga. to take on Kennesaw State.
Miami 4, Liberty 2