The Liberty men's tennis squad concluded play this afternoon at the Wake Forest Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Flames combined to post an overall record of 24-17 during the duration of the tournament. Liberty finished singles competition with an 18-12 record while posting a 6-5 mark in doubles play.
Egon Samaai highlighted the singles draws for the red and blue, cruising to a 4-0 record and placing first in the B1 Singles draw. The South African senior bested Jason Kros of Virginia Tech in three sets (3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4) to begin the tournament. Samaai then cruised to a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Eduardo Landin of Georgia Southern. The Liberty senior earned a three-set victory to advance to the finals round, defeating Navy's Thomas Pecor (3-6, 6-1, 6-4). Samaai captured the B1 Singles title after ousting Virginia's Jonathan Cornish in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.
Sam Matheson concluded an impressive fall campaign this weekend, placing third in the A1 Singles draw. Matheson received a first round victory over the No. 2 seed Henrik Wiersholm of Virginia with Wiersholm unable to continue due to an illness. Matheson then defeated Old Dominion's Michael Weindl in three sets. Despite slipping in the first set by a score of 6-2, Matheson claimed the second and third set by the tallies of 6-4, 6-2. After falling in the semifinals in straight sets, Matheson received the third-place finish after Blaine Willenborg of Penn withdrew from the tournament.
Diego Castano recorded the third and final top 5 finish for the Flames at the Wake Forest Invitational. After claiming a first round victory and falling in the second round, Castano spurred to a 2-0 finish in the fifth-place bracket of the C2 Singles draw. The sophomore downed Parks Thompson of Wofford in straight sets (6-3, 6-2) to advance. Castano then bested Gaston Murray from UNCG in straight sets to claim the victory, 6-2, 6-3.
Eddie Gutierrez claimed three singles victories, while Ryker Heller and Jason Burgess each collected two singles wins. Alex Poynter rounded out the Flames' singles victories with one win in the C1 Singles Draw.
Three Liberty doubles tandems finished with a 2-1 record as Matheson/Poynter and Castano/David Bush placed fifth in their respective brackets.
The doubles competition was highlighted by the duo of Samaai and Gutierrez in the B2 Doubles draw. The dynamic duo began the draw with an 8-6 victory over Hussey/Benson of Kentucky. The Flames' doubles team then dropped Willenborg/Westergaarad of Penn, 8-7(5) en route to a doubles finals appearance. However, it was Haig/Glasnovic of Dartmouth claiming the 8-0 victory in the B2 Doubles finals.
The Flames will return to action on Jan. 22 with a home doubleheader at the Sports Racket against James Madison at 11 a.m. and Morehead State at 6 p.m.