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Burton Sets School Record in Liberty's Momentous 5-2 Victory at Penn State, Friday

February 21, 2020  University Park, Pa.  RSS
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Burton notched his program-record 75th career singles victory at Penn State, Friday night.

Burton notched his program-record 75th career singles victory at Penn State, Friday night.

Liberty men's tennis senior Chase Burton established a new school record with his 75th career singles victory in the Flames' 5-2 triumph over the Penn State Nittany Lions on the road, Friday evening at the Indoor Tennis Center.

The win also marked Liberty's first ever over a Big Ten opponent and second over a Power-5 opponent in the last 13 days. The Flames topped Virginia Tech 4-3 on the road, Feb. 9.

Burton, a senior from Naples, Fla., defeated Penn State's Christos Antonopoulos in straight sets, 7-5, 6-0, in the No. 3 singles match to set the new record, surpassing former Flames Egon Samaai (74 victories, 2012-16) and Siim Tuus (74 victories, 2009-13). Burton and Antonpoulos were knotted at 5-5 in the first set, before the Flames veteran won the next eight games to close out the match.  

Liberty improves to 6-3 on the year and has won its last two matches. Penn State (5-3), which won 20 matches a season ago and made the second round of the 2019 Division I Men's Tennis Championship, sees its five-match winning streak and 13-match home winning streak which dated back to the 2019 campaign halted.

Liberty 5, Penn State 2

Singles competition
1. Christian Lakoseljac (PSU) def. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 7-5, 6-3
2. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) def. Charl Morgan (PSU) 6-4, 6-3
3. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) def. Christos Antonopoulos (PSU) 7-5, 6-0
4. Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) def. Gabriel Nemeth (PSU) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
5. R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) def. Chikaya Sato (PSU) 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4)
6. Alp Sentay (PSU) def. Ian Sturgill (LIBERTYM) 6-2, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. Josh Wilson/Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) def. #46 Christos Antonopoulos/Christian Lakoseljac (PSU) 7-5
2. Gabriel Nemeth/Alp Sentay (PSU) def. Nicaise Muamba/Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) 6-2
3. Steve Mundt/Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) def. Charl Morgan/Chikaya Sato (PSU) 7-5

Liberty 6-3
Penn State 5-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (2,3,1,4,6,5)

Chase Burton Program Record Breakdown
Total: 75-58 Singles Record (.564)
2019-20: 15-10 | Set program record with 75th career singles triumph at Penn State, Friday evening
2018-19: 19-16 | ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award, ASUN Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year, ITA Scholar Athlete, ASUN Academic Honor Roll, No. 61 ranking in doubles with Nicaise Muamba
2017-18: 23-18 | Big South All-Conference second team singles, ITA Scholar Athlete, Big South Presidential Honor Roll
2016-17: 18-14 | Big South All-Conference first team singles, VaSID All-State Men's Tennis singles second team, two-time Big South Freshman of the Week, ITA Scholar-Athlete, Big South Presidential Honor Roll

How It Happened
• Liberty captured the doubles point in dramatic fashion to seize an early 1-0 edge. Penn State's Gabriel Nemeth and Alp Sentay defeated the Flames' No. 2 unit of Nicaise Muamba and Deji Thomas-Smith by a 6-2 score on court two. However, Liberty stormed back with victories on courts one and three to claim the doubles session.
• On court one, Liberty's Josh Wilson and Goncalo Ferreira trailed 5-4 to the ranked tandem of Penn State seniors No. 46 Christos Antonopoulos and Christian Lakoseljac. The Flames pairing roared back to win the final three games and the match, 7-5.
• The last time a Liberty doubles team earned a ranked win prior to Wilson and Ferreira's victory tonight was on Feb. 22, 2019. The pairing of Burton and Muamba topped Virginia Tech's Henrik Korsgaard and Alex Ribeiro, the No. 25-ranked doubles unit in the country, by a 6-3 score.
• With the doubles point still up for grabs, it came down to the No. 3 match between the Flames' Steve Mundt and Burton and the Nittany Lions' Charl Morgan and Chikaya Soto. With the match tied at 5-all, Mundt and Burton won consecutive games to take the match 7-5 and provide the visitors an early 1-0 edge.
• Liberty carried over the momentum into singles, with Wilson winning in two sets (6-4, 6-3) against his counterpart, Morgan, in the No. 2 position. The Flames got within a point of victory at 3-0 with Burton's record-setting victory (7-5, 6-0) versus Antonopoulos on court three. Burton's triumph was his fourth of the spring and 15th of the 2019-20 campaign.
• Penn State received its first point of the night from Lakoseljac (No. 1 singles), a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Muamba.
• With Liberty leading the match but trailing early on courts five and six, Ferreira delivered for the Flames in the No. 4 slot. The Liberty freshman lost his first set to Nemeth by a 6-4 count but bounced back to take the next two sets and the match, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The Barcelos, Portugal, native's victory officially gave the Flames the win and a 4-1 advantage.
• The Nittany Lions' Sentay put a second point on the board for the home side when he topped Liberty's Ian Sturgill 6-2, 6-2 on court six.
• Flames freshman Rafael Marques Da Silva (No. 5 singles) won a three-set match for the fourth time this spring, as the newcomer came back to knock off Sato 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-4). The native of Brazil is now a team-best 8-1 in singles, this spring. His point settled the final score at 5-2 in favor of visiting Liberty.
• This was the first-ever meeting between the Flames and Nittany Lions in dual competition.
• Liberty improved to 3-2 on the road and has now won two straight matches away from Lynchburg.

Next Up
• The Flames' next match will be held one week from today. Liberty will return from its road trip to host the Elon Phoenix (2-4), next Friday at 3 p.m.
• The Phoenix bested the Flames 5-2 in the two teams' last meeting in 2019 in Elon, N.C