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Flames Battle a Pair of Conference Foes this Weekend

March 20, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Flames Battle a Pair of Conference Foes this Weekend

The Liberty men's tennis squad (8-6, 1-0 BSC) returns home to take on a pair of Big South Conference foes at the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts, this weekend. The Flames begin the weekend with a Saturday matchup against Coastal Carolina at 3 p.m. Liberty will then turn around to square off against Presbyterian on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Flames enter the weekend having recently dropped a tough bout with in-state opponent, Richmond. Liberty traveled to Richmond, Va. on Tuesday to square off against the Spiders, but came out on the wrong end of the match, 4-3. The Flames captured the doubles point to take a 1-0 lead heading into singles play. After Liberty split the first four singles matches to take a 3-2 lead, Richmond downed the Flames in the final two singles matches to claim the 4-3 victory. Each of the last two matches extended to a third set for the dramatic finish.

Egon Samaai paces the way for the Flames. The South African native enters the weekend one win shy of double-digit wins with a 9-5 singles record. The bulk of Samaai's singles matches have been played from the No. 3 singles position as the junior is 9-4 from that slot.

Freshman standout Diego Castano leads the doubles effort as the North Carolinian enters the match with a 9-5 doubles record on the season. Five of Castano's doubles wins have come alongside co-captain Dillon Segur as the pair has obtained the best record on the squad at 5-2.

Saturday's matchup against Coastal Carolina marks the 28th contest between the two programs on the tennis courts. Coastal Carolina leads the series with a 21-6 record. The Flames secured one of the six wins last season on April 9, 2014, when Liberty bested the Chanticleers, 4-3, in Conway, S.C. However, Coastal Carolina got revenge in the Big South Championship Quarterfinals when the Chanticleers blanked Liberty, 4-0, on April 17, 2014 in Boiling Springs, N.C.

Coastal Carolina enters the match with a 6-4 record and 1-0 in conference play on the season. In their most recent contest, the Chanticleers fell to No. 34 South Carolina by a score of 4-0 in Columbia, S.C. Each of the four losses for Coastal Carolina have come against Top 75 squads.

Following its match with Coastal Carolina, Liberty returns to action on Sunday when they host Presbyterian at 1 p.m. The Blue Hose enter the contest with a 13-5 overall record and a 0-1 Big South record. In Presbyterian's most recent contest, the Blue Hose downed NJIT by a score of 6-1 in Clinton, S.C. Presbyterian will have its first chance to notch a conference win this season, tomorrow as the Blue Hose take on Longwood at 10 a.m. in Farmville, Va.

The Flames lead the all-time series, 5-1, against the Blue Hose on the tennis courts. Presbyterian notched its first win of the series last season when the Blue Hose blanked Liberty by a score of 7-0 in Clinton, S.C. on March 15, 2014.

Following this weekend's matches, the Flames will return to action on March 27 when they travel to Asheville, N.C. to take on the UNC Asheville Bulldogs at 2 p.m.