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Muamba Picks Up Ranked Win, Flames Drop Opener to Hurricanes

January 18, 2019  Coral Gables, Fla.   RSS
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Muamba won in both singles and doubles on Friday at Miami.

Muamba won in both singles and doubles on Friday at Miami.

Archived Broadcast of the Match
Despite Liberty sophomore Nicaise Muamba's singles victory over the 21st-ranked player in the country, the Flames men's tennis squad dropped its 2019 spring season opener at Miami by a 6-1 final, Friday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center.

Liberty falls to 0-1 on the young season, while Miami improves to 2-0 following a pair of victories over ASUN foes on Friday. The Hurricanes defeated the Stetson Hatters 7-0 earlier in the day.

Miami 6, Liberty 1

Singles Competition
1. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) def. #21 A. Soriano Barrera (UM) 6-4, 6-3
2. #35 Bojan Jankulovski (UM) def. Eddie Gutierrez (LIBERTYM) 6-2, 6-3
3. Dane Dunlap (UM) def. William Barker (LIBERTYM) 6-0, 6-1
4. #97 Francisco Bastias (UM) def. Ian Sturgill (LIBERTYM) 6-0, 6-3
5. Franco Aubone (UM) def. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) 6-4, 6-3
6. Kaya Gore (UM) def. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 7-5

Doubles Competition
1. Nicaise Muamba/Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) def. A. Soriano Barrera/Dane Dunlap (UM) 6-4
2. Franco Aubone/Kaya Gore (UM) def. Josh Wilson/Steve Mundt (LIBERTYM) 7-6 (7-5)
3. Francisco Bastias/Bojan Jankulovski (UM) def. William Barker/Vince Salas (LIBERTYM) 6-4

Liberty 0-1
Miami 2-0
Order of finish: Doubles (1, 3, 2); Singles (3, 4, 2, 5, 1, 6) T-2:45

Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt
"Congrats to Nicaise on beating the No. 21 player in the country. Hard work pays off, and we can always count on Nicaise to bring the energy, focus and discipline to practice. I was encouraged by our doubles performance. We are building some strong fundamentals. We are excited about our season and our next opportunity at Drexel."

How It Happened

  • Miami won the doubles point in a tiebreaker on court two. The Hurricanes' pairing of freshmen Franco Aubone and Kaya Gore won the tiebreaker 7-5 and the set 7-6 (5), providing the hosts an early 1-0 advantage in the match.
  • Muamba and junior Chase Burton built an early 3-1 lead on Miami's Soriano Barrera and Dane Dunlap and won 6-4. With the Flames' duo leading 5-4 overall but trailing in the game 30-15, Muamba served Liberty to victory. Muamba and Burton are 3-1 as a team between the fall and spring seasons. 
  • The Hurricanes clinched the match with straight-set wins on courts three, four and two, in that order. Two of those three decisions came from Miami players who were ranked, including No. 35 Bojan Jankulovski's 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Flames senior Eddie Gutierrez on court two. Jankulovski's win sealed the match and made it 4-0 Hurricanes.
  • After falling into an early 4-1 hole in the first set to Aubone in the No. 5 singles match, Liberty's Josh Wilson got to within a game (5-4) before losing the opening set 6-4. Wilson led 3-2 in set two, but Aubone clawed back to claim the match (6-4, 6-3).
  • Trailing 5-0, the Flames received their lone point of the day from Muamba. The native of Laval, Quebec, Canada never trailed at any point in either set against Soriano Barrera. He took a commanding 2-0 and 3-1 leads in the first set and a 3-0 lead in the second set on the way to victory.
  • Liberty's Burton had the opportunity to earn the Flames' second point of the match on court six. The Naples, Fla., native was down a set to Miami's Gore but led 5-4 and was on the verge of forcing a third-set 10-point tiebreaker to determine the final match on court. However, Gore rallied to take the next three games and the match, 6-3, 7-5. On the day, Miami had 13 combined points to just one (Liberty 1, Stetson 0) between its opposition.

Next Up

  • Liberty will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., next Friday to take on Drexel and Penn in a doubleheader. The Flames will take on the Dragons at 9 a.m., followed by a 4:30 p.m. match against the Quakers.
    This is the first time Liberty will face both Drexel and Penn in men's tennis.