With the match on the line, Liberty senior Eddie Gutierrez delivered a dramatic come-from-behind three-set win on his Senior Day, sending the Flames to a 4-3 victory over the visiting North Florida Ospreys at the Cook Tennis Center on Saturday afternoon.
Gutierrez, who was honored prior to the match, was locked in a battle with his counterpart, Jorge Nunez, of UNF. Gutierrez and Nunez were tied 3-3 in the third set in the deciding match, with the two teams tied at 3-apiece. The Flames' senior won the next two games and dropped the next game to set the stage for a dramatic fashion.
With Nunez serving and Gutierrez leading 5-4, Gutierrez built a 40-15 lead. Nunez took the next two points, setting up a pivotal deuce point. Nunez sailed a ball long over the back line following a short rally, giving Gutierrez the comeback 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 triumph. It was Gutierrez 68th career singles victory, which ranks sixth in program history in singles wins.
The Flames improve to 11-9 overall and 5-0 in the ASUN with their fifth straight win. Liberty is 5-0 in conference play for the first time in school history. The Flames close out their home schedule a perfect 6-0. Liberty now shares first place in the conference with Florida Gulf Coast (5-0), a 5-2 winner over Lipscomb on Saturday.
UNF falls to 10-10 on the season and 3-2 in the ASUN and sees its five-match winning streak halted.
Liberty 4, North Florida 3
Singles Competition 1. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) def. Sahil Deshmukh (UNF) 6-2, 6-4 2. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) def. Dominik Barton (UNF) 6-2, 6-0 3. Till Von Winning (UNF) def. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 4. Nilo Duarte (UNF) def. Ian Sturgill (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) 5. Eddie Gutierrez (LIBERTYM) def. Jorge Nunez (UNF) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 6. Federico Nani (UNF) def. Vince Salas (LIBERTYM) 7-6 (9-7), 5-7, 6-3
Doubles Competition 1. Nicaise Muamba/Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) def. #83 Nilo Duarte/Sahil Deshmukh (UNF) 6-4 2. Josh Wilson/Ian Sturgill (LIBERTYM) def. Jorge Nunez/Federico Nani (UNF) 6-4 3. Dominik Barton/Till Von Winning (UNF) def. Vince Salas/Steve Mundt (LIBERTYM) 6-3
North Florida 10-10, 3-1 ASUN Liberty 11-9, 5-0 ASUN Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (2,4,1,3,6,5) Official: D Harrison/A Sarver T-3:35
Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt "Thank you to our awesome fans who come out to support today. It was a great college match from start to finish."
How It Happened
??No. 3 Play on @SportsCenter for Senior Eddie Gutierrez!!!?? pic.twitter.com/hQlwAfpnNd — Liberty Men's Tennis (@LUMensTennis) April 7, 2019
??No. 3 Play on @SportsCenter for Senior Eddie Gutierrez!!!?? pic.twitter.com/hQlwAfpnNd
??Here is senior Eddie Gutierrez's match-clinching point!!! You cannot write a better script!!!??#FightFlames???? #ASUNMTEN pic.twitter.com/SGQ1h4rZDw — Liberty Men's Tennis (@LUMensTennis) April 6, 2019
??Here is senior Eddie Gutierrez's match-clinching point!!! You cannot write a better script!!!??#FightFlames???? #ASUNMTEN pic.twitter.com/SGQ1h4rZDw
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