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Liberty to Face NC State in First Round of NCAA Men's Tennis Championship

May 3, 2021  Lynchburg. Va.   RSS
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Liberty will take on NC State in the first round of the NCAA Championship.

Liberty will take on NC State in the first round of the NCAA Championship.

2021 Division I Men's Tennis Championship Bracket
Assistant Coach Trevor Foshey Press Conference 
Deji Thomas-Smith Press Conference
Nicaise Muamba Press Conference 

ASUN Conference champion Liberty will face NC State in the first round of the 2021 NCAA Division I Men's Tennis Championship on Friday at South Carolina.

The No. 48 Flames (20-7) and No. 25 Wolfpack (11-8) will square off on Friday morning at 10 a.m. at the Carolina Tennis Center in Columbia, S.C. In the other first round match on Friday afternoon (1 p.m.), host No. 12 South Carolina (15-9) will take on CAA champion UNCW (15-5). South Carolina is the No. 13 overall seed for the NCAA Championship.

The winners of Friday's matches will meet in the second round, Saturday at 1 p.m. Liberty is making its first-ever appearance at the NCAA Men's Tennis Team Championship.

"It's an honor to represent Liberty in the NCAA Tournament. We can't wait for Friday," said Flames fourth-year head coach Derek Schwandt.

Liberty earned the ASUN's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after defeating FGCU 4-0 in the conference title match, April 24  at the UNF Tennis Complex in Jacksonville, Fla. The Flames have a program-record 20 wins this season and have been nationally ranked every week since March 24. Liberty reached as high as 40th in the country on March 30. The Flames were a perfect 6-0 in the ASUN North Division and went 3-0 in the ASUN Championship.  

NC State is currently the 25th-ranked team in the nation and has been listed among the top-30 teams in the country for the entire season. The Wolfpack posted a 7-3 mark in ACC regular season play. NC State fell 4-0 to No. 6 Virginia in the ACC Championship semifinals, April 24.

The Flames have never faced both NC State and South Carolina. However, current Liberty players Nicaise Muamba and Josh Wilson competed at the South Carolina Gamecock Fall Invitational during the Flames' fall 2019 campaign. Liberty faced UNCW on March 26 in Lynchburg, a 5-2 Flames triumph at the Liberty Tennis Complex in what was their first-ever match as a ranked squad.

While Liberty has not played against NC State before, the Flames faced other opponents from the ACC this season in Virginia (Jan. 17), Duke (March 31) and Clemson (April 13), all on the road.

Tickets for the first and second rounds at the Carolina Tennis Center will be $5 for all fans over the age of two. Students of the four participating schools can purchase tickets for $3 with a valid university ID.

NCAA Men's Tennis Championship – South Carolina Regional (Carolina Tennis Center | Columbia, S.C.) – First and Second Rounds
Friday, 10 a.m. – No. 2 seed NC State (11-8) vs. No. 3 seed Liberty (20-7)
Friday 1 p.m. – No. 1 seed South Carolina (15-9) vs. No. 4 seed UNCW (15-5)

Saturday, 1 p.m. – Winners of first round matches