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Flames Conclude Regular Season with 5-2 Defeat at Asheville

April 13, 2017  Asheville, N.C.  RSS
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Liberty was defeated, 5-2, by Asheville in its regular season finale, Thursday.

Liberty was defeated, 5-2, by Asheville in its regular season finale, Thursday.

For the second time in as many days, Liberty was outplayed in the singles session, as the UNC Asheville Bulldogs defeated the Flames, 5-2, Thursday afternoon at the Asheville Racquet Club.

The Flames (7-14, 0-7 Big South) took the doubles point for a straight second match but UNC Asheville (7-12, 1-6 Big South) upended Liberty in five of six singles bouts.

The Bulldogs' top tandem, Henry Patten and Josh Swindler, improved to 19-1 in doubles play by taking down the Flames' Alex Poynter and Vince Salas, 6-3, in the No. 1 match.

On court two, Liberty's Ryker Heller and Diego Castano improved to 3-0 together, this, spring, by edging Asheville's Reid Dillon and Olly Cull, 6-4.

The Flames' No. 3 pairing of Max Borcuti and Chase Burton prevailed in a tiebreaker over Majed Yousif and James Massie, 7-6 (8-6), putting Liberty out in front, 1-0, early on in the match.

UNC Asheville turned the tides in singles competition, winning on courts one, two, four, five and six. Patten improved to a perfect 19-0 at No. 1 singles, this spring, by snapping Burton's three-match winning streak in straight sets (6-4, 6-1).

Patten's win evened the match at 1-1, while Swindler's straight-sets (6-2, 7-5) decision over Salas on court two placed the home side ahead, 2-1.

Castano answered the bell in his No. 3 singles match versus Dillon, defeating the Asheville senior 6-3, 7-5. The Liberty junior's 15th singles win of 2016-17 tied the contest, 2-2.

Cull triumphed in a lengthy two-set bout with Heller, 7-6, 6-4, giving the Bulldogs a one-point lead (3-2), their second of the day.

The final two matches needed three sets to settle. After Poynter and Andrew Sinai split the first two sets, Sinai narrowly got by Poynter in set three to take the match, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4. Sinai's singles victory on court six officially clinched UNC Asheville's first Big South win of 2017 and brought the score to 4-2.

The lone match remaining, the No. 5 singles match between Liberty's Borcuti and Asheville's Massie, was a back-and-forth bout decided in a third-set 10-point tiebreaker, won by Massie. Massie erased a one-set deficit to take the match, 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (10-5).

With regular season play concluded, the seedings and bracket for the 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship will be released later this evening.

The 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship will get underway on Wednesday at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C.