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Men's Tennis Collects 5-2 Win at N.C. Central

February 17, 2017  Durham, N.C.  RSS
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Salas won at both doubles and singles, Friday at N.C. Central.

Salas won at both doubles and singles, Friday at N.C. Central.

The Liberty men's tennis team earned a 5-2 victory at N.C. Central, Friday at the Dr. James W. Younge Tennis Courts.

The win puts the Flames above .500 at 4-3, while the Eagles fall to 0-5 with the defeat. Liberty is now 5-0 in the all-time series with N.C. Central.

The Flames began the day by taking the doubles point from the Eagles. Liberty junior Diego Castano and freshman Vince Salas started the afternoon doubles session with a 6-1 victory over N.C. Central's Theo Kontopoulos and Sebastian Bromley, 6-1.

Sophomores Ryker Heller and Eddie Gutierrez sealed the doubles point for the Flames with a 6-3 triumph over Brooks Campbell and Davide Callegari, at No. 3 doubles

In the final doubles match, N.C. Central's top pairing of Gabriel Cucalon and Maksym Konovalov edged the Flames' tandem of Chase Burton and Max Borcuti in a tiebreaker (7-6 (7-2)).

Liberty's lead grew to 2-0 early in singles play, as Castano took down Konovalov, 6-0, 6-1, in the No. 4 spot. N.C. Central notched its first victory of the day at No. 1 singles to cut the Flames' edge to 2-1. Cucalon bested Gutierrez, 6-3, 6-2, handing Gutierrez just his second singles loss of the spring.

The Flames' Salas delivered in his No. 3 singles position, knocking off Callegari, 6-2, 6-3, to push the Liberty lead to 3-1.

N.C. Central's Kontopoulos brought the match to 3-2, defeating Burton in two sets (7-5, 6-2).

The Flames got strong performances out of their No. 5 and No. 6 players, Heller and Borcuti, to sew up the match. Heller beat Pablo Juez Torres (6-3, 6-3) to give Liberty the winning fourth point, while Borcuti won a lengthy two-set match with Campbell, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4.

"This was a good win today. We are still working through the process and trying to get healthy," said Liberty Head Men's Tennis Coach Chris Johnson. "We had some guys step up today under pressure, so that was a bright spot for sure."

Liberty will now head to Furman (6-3) for a 2 p.m. match, Sunday at the Mickel Tennis Center in Greenville, S.C.