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Flames Make it Three-for-Three in Hilton Head

March 12, 2009  Hilton Head, S.C.  RSS
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Chad Simpson won at both No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles to help Liberty secure its 10th win of the 2009 season.

Chad Simpson won at both No. 2 doubles and No. 3 singles to help Liberty secure its 10th win of the 2009 season.

The Flames did not post their third-straight sweep during their Spring Break stay in Hilton Head, but Liberty did reel off its third-consecutive win by beating Rockhurst, 5-2, on Thursday afternoon.

The win gives head coach Chris Johnson his first 10-win season on the men's side of the program, as Liberty improves to 10-4 on the year under the third-year skipper. The loss hands Rockhurst, a Division II program from Kansas City, Mo., its first loss this season and drops the Hawks to 5-1.

Liberty's doubles tandem of Clay Cypert and Giancarlo pushed their winning streak to six and upped their mark in 2009 to 11-3 with an 8-4 win at No. 1 doubles over a brothers pair in Ben and Zach Newell.

The Flames Gregorio Machado and Chad Simpson needed extra games to dispense of Arbuo Barravak and Victor Klincharov at No. 2 doubles, 9-7. In direct contrast, Juan Reyes and Louis Steyn breezed to a convincing 8-0 win over David Maddox and Paulo Bombonatti at No. 3 doubles, sealing up the pairs point for Liberty.

Cypert continued to roll, opening No. 1 singles with his eighth singles victory of the year in a 6-2, 7-5 win over Klincharov.

Steyn, who had won his last three sets by a 6-0 mark, was not able to keep the scoreless streak alive, but the junior did net his team-leading ninth singles victory of the year, as he dropped four games in a 6-1, 6-3 win over Artino Baraalle at No. 2.

The remaining four singles bouts were battles, with three of the four needing an extra set and the fourth being determined in a second-set tiebreaker.

Simpson started the tough stretch for the Flames by rebounding from an opening-set loss to down Zach Newell, 3-6, 6-2, 10-6 to move to 7-2 at No. 3 singles this season.

Zach's brother, Ben, was able to bring to an end Liberty dominance in the low country of the "Palmetto State", as he downed Lemmi 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 at No. 4 singles, handing the Flames their first loss in a singles or doubles matchup in Hilton Head this week.

Adam Bales kept the momentum shifted toward the Hawks at No. 5 singles with a 7-5, 7-6 (5) victory over Machado at No. 5 singles.

However, Reyes was able to complete the victory for Liberty, as the Cali, Colombia native, who had only dropped four games in his last two singles matchups, outlasted Ryan Field for a 3-6, 6-1, 13-11 win at No. 6 singles.

With Liberty's home Big South opener against Presbyterian postponed due to inclement weather in the Lynchburg area this weekend, the Flames will now return to the tennis courts on Tuesday, when they square off against James Madison. Match time in Harrisonburg, Va., is set for 2:30 p.m.