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Liberty Men's Tennis to Conclude Regular Season with 2 BSC Road Matches

April 10, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Castano (front right) and Poynter (back left) have been Liberty's most successful doubles unit during the 2016-17 season.

Castano (front right) and Poynter (back left) have been Liberty's most successful doubles unit during the 2016-17 season.

Liberty men's tennis will play its final two Big South regular season contests, as the Flames will take on Winthrop and UNC Asheville, Wednesday and Thursday.

Wednesday's contest between Liberty (7-12, 0-5 Big South) and Winthrop (6-11, 3-2 Big South) is slated for a 3 p.m. first serve at the Rock Hill Tennis Center in Rock Hill, S.C.

Thursday's match against UNC Asheville (6-12, 0-6 Big South) will begin at 1 p.m. at the Asheville Racquet Club in Asheville, N.C. The match was originally slated for last Wednesday but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Series History
The Eagles have taken 24 of 27 all-time meetings from the Flames. However, in 2016, Liberty defeated Winthrop, 5-2, in Lynchburg.

The Flames trail the all-time series with the Bulldogs, 15-11. The two schools last met on March 5, 2016, a match won, 4-3, by Asheville in Lynchburg.

Big South Update
Big South Conference teams conclude regular season play on Friday. Here's a look at the conference standings with five days of competition left before postseason play:

Team Overall Conference
Presbyterian 13-10 5-1
Gardner-Webb 11-11 5-2
Campbell 16-4 5-2
Winthrop 6-11 3-2
Longwood 13-5 3-3
Radford 6-13 3-3
Liberty 7-12 0-5
UNC Asheville 6-12 0-6

The 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship is just nine days away. The three-day event will run from April 19-21 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Flames Facts
Liberty freshmen Chase Burton (16-13 overall, 11-8 spring) and Vince Salas (16-15 overall, 8-11 spring) have the squad's two best singles records. Burton has been named the Big South Freshman of the Week twice (Feb. 2, Feb. 8), while Salas earned the accolade once on March 22. Burton is 6-2 in the No. 1 slot this spring for a .750 winning percentage (third in Big South).

Sophomore captain Eddie Gutierrez (13-15 overall, 9-9 spring) is a combined 7-4 in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in the lineup during the spring season, while junior captain Diego Castano (14-17 overall, 9-10 spring) has won five of his last eight singles matches, including a victory at Radford on Sunday.

Liberty Head Men's Tennis Coach Chris Johnson's strongest doubles duo for the duration of the 2016-17 season has been Castano and sophomore Alex Poynter (10-7 overall). The duo is 4-6, this spring.

Sophomore Max Borcuti and Chase Burton are 7-6 as a unit during the spring, including four straight victories. Collectively, the Flames are 26-25 (.510) in doubles matches during the spring season and 43-43 (.500) overall. Castano paces Liberty with a 19-12 mark (.613) in doubles competition.

Scouting Winthrop
The Eagles have defeated UNC Asheville, Gardner-Webb and Radford in Big South play, while suffering setbacks to Longwood and Campbell. Winthrop Head Men's Tennis Coach John Collins' 10-man roster consists of four freshmen, four sophomores, a junior and a senior.

Sophomore Diego Quiroz holds an 8-5 record out of the No. 1 singles spot, this spring. Junior Josh Ryan has Winthrop's second-best singles mark (8-6) and is 5-0 in Big South competition. Collins has employed 11 different doubles pairings during the spring, led by sophomore Aditya Gokhale and Ryan (5-2 spring, 3-1 Big South).

Scouting UNC Asheville
The Bulldogs (6-12, 0-6 Big South) are coached by fourth-year head coach Tom Hand. His team features two seniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. UNC Asheville has not played a match since March 27 on the road at first-place Presbyterian (5-2 loss).

Sophomore Henry Patten is an unblemished 18-0 at No. 1 singles this spring and has been tabbed the Big South Player of the Week two times. Patten and doubles partner Josh Swindler are 17-1 in the No. 1 doubles position in 2017. Swindler also boasts a solid singles resume, with a 13-5 record in the No. 2 slot.