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Liberty Wins 5 of its 6 Matches on Day Two of Silverado Invitational

September 8, 2018  Napa, Calif.  RSS
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Sturgill won his first match as a Liberty Flame on Saturday.

Sturgill won his first match as a Liberty Flame on Saturday.

The Liberty Flames men's tennis team continued its strong play on the West Coast, Saturday at the Silverado Invitational. On day two of the tournament, hosted by Oklahoma State at the Silverado Resort and Spa, the Flames were victorious in five of the six matches they competed in.

"Our team competed tenaciously from the first point to last today," said head coach Derek Schwandt. "Chase (Burton) and Eddie (Gutierrez) are leading us well. Ian fought through a tough match and finished strong."

After going 0-2 in doubles on Friday, the Flames picked up their first two doubles victories of the fall on the Vintage Courts, Saturday against the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. The pairing of freshman Josh Wilson and senior Eddie Gutierrez topped UNLV's Ruben Alberts and Evaldo Neto, 8-5.

Liberty freshman Farid Juri and junior Chase Burton also knocked off Richard Solberg and Courtney Lock of UNLV by the same 8-5 result. The doubles victories were both the first of Wilson and Juri's young careers.

For a second straight day, the Flames posted a 3-1 mark in singles, this time against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. After needing three sets on Friday to win his match, Burton fought for a two-set triumph against Asad Siyyid (6-4, 7-5).

Gutierrez gritted out a three-set victory in his match against the Rainbow Warriors' Andre Illigan. The Liberty senior once again outlasted his opponent despite losing the first set in a tiebreaker for the second straight day, prevailing, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-3. Dating back to last year, 10 of Gutierrez's last 17 wins have come in three-set fashion.

In his first singles action of the season, freshman Ian Sturgill collected the first victory of his Flames career. The local product (Madison Heights, Va.) traded sets with Lucas Labrunie before taking the third set 6-2 for the victory (7-5, 5-7, 6-2).

Liberty will be back on the courts tomorrow for the third and final day of the Silverado Invitational starting at 11:30 a.m. Eastern (8:30 a.m. Pacific).