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Liberty Prevails, 4-3, over George Mason

February 10, 2017  Montclair, Va.  RSS
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Borcuti's singles win clinched the match for Liberty over George Mason, Friday.

Borcuti's singles win clinched the match for Liberty over George Mason, Friday.

The Liberty men's tennis squad pulled out a narrow 4-3 victory at George Mason, Friday at the Montclair Country Club.

The outcome of the match was not decided until the final match of the contest. Liberty sophomore Max Borcuti overcame a first-set loss to win in three sets over Giuliano Buzoianu, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 and secure a victory for the Flames.

With the win, Liberty improves to 3-2 on the season, while George Mason falls to 2-3. The Flames are now 4-0 all-time against the Patriots.

The Flames took the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles matches from the Patriots to secure the first point of the day. Liberty's No. 3 tandem of Ryker Heller and Eddie Gutierrez prevailed, 6-4, over George Mason's Edward Ayers and Andrew Curtis for their third win as a unit, this spring.

At No. 2 doubles, Vince Salas and Diego Castano bested Jakob Nielsen and James Lange, 6-4, to clinch the point for the visiting Flames and give them an early 1-0 edge.

In the No. 1 slot, the Patriots' pairing of Pally Ray and Daniel Gutierrez edged the Flames' Chase Burton and Borcuti, 7-5, to close out doubles play.

Singles play on Friday was very competitive, as five of six matches went three sets.

In the No. 2 spot, Ray bested Gutierrez in three sets (6-2, 2-6, 6-1) to give the hosts their first point of the match.

George Mason's Gutierrez came through with a victory for the home side in the No. 4 match against Castano, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, to bring the score to 2-1. Liberty tied the match up at 2-2 with the result of the next match, as Salas overcame a set one loss to beat Nielsen, 2-6, 6-0, 7-5 in the No. 3 singles match.

Liberty's No. 1 player Burton also rebounded from a setback in the first set to knock off Lange, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 and push the Flames' lead to 3-2.

The match came down to the No. 5 and No. 6 players from each side. The only two-set match of the day went George Mason's way. Ayers knocked off Heller (6-3, 6-0) in the No. 5 position.

Borcuti, who came into the day on a three-match losing streak, broke his own personal skid and snapped the Flames' two-match skid with the win over Buzoianu (1-6, 6-4, 6-3).

Liberty will play its next match on Saturday at Navy (7-2) at 1 p.m. at the Tose Family Tennis Center in Annapolis, Md.