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Singles Play Keys Eagles' 5-2 Triumph over Flames, Wednesday

April 12, 2017  Rock Hill, S.C.   RSS
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Burton (front) teamed with Borcuti (back) for a doubles victory at Winthrop and also won his No. 1 singles bout.

Burton (front) teamed with Borcuti (back) for a doubles victory at Winthrop and also won his No. 1 singles bout.

On the strength of its strong singles play on Wednesday, the Winthrop Eagles bested the Liberty Flames, 5-2, at the Rock Hill Tennis Center.

Liberty (7-13, 0-6 Big South) captured the doubles point but was met with a strong Winthrop effort in one-on-one action. The Eagles (7-11, 4-2 Big South) won the No. 2-6 singles matches, all in straight sets, en route to victory.

In doubles, the Flames seized early momentum in the match. The No. 3 slot saw Max Borcuti and Chase Burton collect a 6-3 victory over Gabriel Dias and Leandros Pappayiannis. The No. 1 match went to host Winthrop, as Diego Quiroz and Aditya Gokhale won a lengthy battle with Liberty's Vince Salas and Alex Poynter, 7-5.

The match on court two between Ryker Heller and Diego Castano and Josh Ryan and Ruy Teixeria took a tiebreaker to determine a winner. Playing for the second time together all season, Heller and Castano gutted out a 7-6 (9-7) win to provide the Flames a 1-0 edge.

While the momentum appeared to be favoring the Liberty Flames, Winthrop proved its strength in singles by winning on courts 2-6. On court two, Teixeira needed two sets (6-1, 6-3) to cap off a victory over Salas. In the No. 6 match, the Eagles' Ryan ousted Poynter in straight sets as well (6-2, 6-0), staking the hosts to a 2-1 lead in the match.

Dias' straight-sets (6-3, 6-3) victory against Heller on court four brought Winthrop within a point of its fourth Big South win, while Gokhale sealed the deal for the Eagles with a 6-4, 6-1 decision vs. Borcuti in the No. 5 singles bout. Gokhale's victory moved the home side ahead, 4-1.

On court three, Pappayiannis needed a pair of sets to take care of Castano (6-3, 6-4). The Flames' Burton provided the only singles victory for Liberty, winning his No. 1 match against Quiroz in a three-set battle, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Burton's triumph, which settled the final outcome at 5-2, was his fourth straight and team-best 18th singles victory of his freshman campaign.

The Flames will return to action tomorrow at UNC Asheville. Liberty's regular season finale will commence at 1 p.m. at the Asheville Racquet Club. The match was originally pegged for last Wednesday but was moved due this Thursday due to inclement weather.