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2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship Preview

April 17, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship Bracket

No. 8 seed Liberty will open 2017 Big South Men's Tennis Championship play against No. 1 seed Presbyterian on Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

The three-day event will feature quarterfinal matches on Wednesday and semifinal bouts on Thursday, concluding with the championship match on Friday at 4 p.m.

How to Follow the Flames
Live results will be available for Wednesday's match between Liberty and Presbyterian and for any match Liberty participates in throughout the tournament.

Follow @LUGameday on Twitter for live in-match updates for Liberty men's tennis throughout the week.

Series History vs. Presbyterian
Liberty has taken six of nine all-time meetings with Presbyterian. In their meeting this spring on April 1 in Lynchburg, the Blue Hose bested the Flames, 6-1.

Big South Men's Tennis Championship History
Liberty men's tennis has never won a Big South Men's Tennis Championship title. During the last six years, Radford (2011, 2012), Coastal Carolina (2013, 2016) and Winthrop (2014, 2015) have each won the tournament championship twice.

Winthrop has the most all-time Big South Men's Tennis Championship crowns with seven, followed by Charleston Southern with six.

Big South Regular Season Recap
Big South Conference teams concluded regular season competition, last Friday. Here's a look at the final regular season standings:

Team Overall Conference
Presbyterian 15-10 6-1
Gardner-Webb 11-12 5-2
Campbell 18-4 5-2
Longwood 14-5 4-3
Winthrop 7-12 4-3
Radford 6-14 3-4
UNC Asheville 7-12 1-6
Liberty 7-14 0-7

Liberty freshmen Chase Burton and Vince Salas were both named Big South Conference Men's Tennis Freshman of the Week, this spring. Burton garnered back-to-back honors on Feb. 2 and 8, while Salas merited selection on March 22.

Flames Facts
Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach Chris Johnson's strongest doubles unit for the duration of the 2016-17 season has been Castano and sophomore Alex Poynter (10-7 overall). Castano has 21 doubles victories against just 12 losses during the 2016-17 season, the best mark of any Flame.

Sophomore Max Borcuti and Chase Burton are 9-6 as a unit during the spring. Collectively, the Flames are 30-27 (.526) in doubles during the spring season and 47-45 (.511) overall.

Liberty freshmen Chase Burton (17-14 overall, 12-9 spring) and Vince Salas (16-17 overall, 8-13 spring) have the squad's two best singles records. Burton is 7-3 in the No. 1 position for a .700 winning percentage (tied for third in the 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, while junior captain Diego Castano (15-18 overall, 10-11 spring) has won six of his last ten singles matches.

Scouting Presbyterian
The Blue Hose won the Big South regular-season title for the second time ever after going 6-1 in conference competition.

Senior Ben Kelley leads the way for head coach Patrick Fediuk's squad. Kelly holds a 19-3 mark in singles competition, including a 9-1 mark in the No. 4 slot (second in Big South). Junior Alejandro Bejar (13-6 spring, 7-0 at No. 5) also provides strength for PC at the back of the lineup, along with freshman Jaime Castillo-Lopez (10-4 spring, 8-1 combined at No. 5 and 6).

The Blue Hose are also solid in doubles play (47-24 overall). Alexander Lykou and Brandon Mills, the team's No. 2 pairing, are 15-5 on the spring. Castillo-Lopez and senior Diego Manzanas own a 15-7 record, primarily out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

How Liberty Stacks Up Against the Other Big South Teams

No. 2 Gardner-Webb
The Runnin' Bulldogs, who went 5-2 in the Big South, defeated the Flames, 4-3, back on March 25 in Boiling Springs, N.C. Liberty won the doubles point and received singles triumphs from Burton and Gutierrez.

Top two singles players (by spring record): Maximillian Scholl (17-4, No. 1 flight) and Ross Gilbert (12-8, 5-0 at No. 6)

Top doubles unit (by spring record): Paul Hogan and Maximillian Scholl (6-4 at No. 1)

No. 3 Campbell
The Camels, who went 5-2 in Big South regular-season competition, knocked off Liberty, 6-1, on March 9 in the Hill City. Salas delivered Liberty's lone point of the match in the No. 3 singles slot.

Top two singles players (by spring record): Gerard Sola (16-3, 8-0 at No. 4) and Fernando Clemente (16-5, 9-1 at No. 6)

Top doubles unit (by spring record): Jonathan O'Neal and Gerard Sola (16-4, 9-1 at No. 3)

No. 4 Longwood
The Lancers, who finished 4-3 in Big South play this spring, edged the Flames, 4-3, on March 2 in both teams' Big South opener at the Cook Tennis Center. Longwood captured the doubles point and split the six singles matches with Liberty. Burton, Castano and Borcuti each won matches for the host Flames.

Top two singles players (by spring record): Amadeo Blasco (16-3, 8-1 at No. 2) and Florian Uffer (12-6, 7-3 at No. 1)

Top doubles unit (by spring record): Amadeo Blaco and Florian Uffer (15-4 at No. 1)

No. 5 Winthrop
The Eagles finished 4-3 in the conference. Winthrop defeated Liberty, 5-2, last Wednesday in Rock Hill, S.C. The Flames' two points came in doubles and from Burton in singles.

Top two singles players (by spring record): Josh Ryan (10-6, 10-4 at No. 6) and Ruy Teixeira (10-9, 9-8 at No. 2)

Top doubles unit (by spring record): Aditya Gokhale and Diego Quiroz (5-1 at No. 1)

No. 6 Radford
The Highlanders (3-4 Big South) pulled off a come-from-behind 4-3 victory against the Flames on their home courts on April 9. Radford trailed 2-0 in the match, but won four of the final five singles bouts. Liberty won the doubles point and two singles matches (Burton, Castano).

Top two singles players (by spring record): Janken Thoen (9-8, 7-4 at No. 5) and Robin Calais (7-9, 5-4 at No. 4)

Top doubles unit (by spring record): Samuel Taylor and Janken Thoen (8-9, 7-8 at No. 3)

No. 7 UNC Asheville
The Bulldogs defeated Liberty, 5-2, last Thursday in both teams' regular-season finales in Asheville, N.C. The Flames seized the doubles point, but only picked up a win in one of the six singles matches (Castano).

Top two singles players (by spring record): Henry Patten (19-0 at No. 1) and Josh Swindler (14-5 at No. 2)

Top doubles unit (by spring record): Henry Patten and Josh Swindler (18-1 at No. 1)