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Flames Post 5 Singles, 3 Doubles Wins on Day 1 of Liberty University Invitational

September 28, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Wilson won in doubles and singles on Friday afternoon.

Wilson won in doubles and singles on Friday afternoon.

The host Flames men's tennis squad posted a total of eight victories on day one of the 2018 Liberty University Invitational, Friday at the Cook Tennis Center.

"I'm so excited about our team today. We showed strong composure today and managed our matches well," said Flames head coach Derek Schwandt. "It's a great opportunity to compete on our home courts this weekend."

Liberty started the afternoon with a trio of doubles victories, beginning with the duo of junior Chase Burton and freshman William Barker. The duo easily handled the pairing of Michiel Meekers (Radford) and Chase Bernstine (Virginia Tech) by a 6-2 score in the Red draw. They will move on to face Charlotte's Leonardo Menezes and Sam Rice in a semifinal match on Saturday. Friday's win marked the first victory of Barker's college career.

The Flames' pairing of senior Eddie Gutierrez and Josh Wilson also advanced to Saturday's semifinals of the men's doubles Red draw, topping Gardner-Webb's Maxmilian Scholl and Millen Hurron 6-3. They will square off with Virginia Tech's Evan Fragistas and Jason Kros tomorrow.

Liberty's third duo to win was junior Vince Salas and freshman Farid Juri, a 6-4 victor against Gardner-Webb's Sebastian Harris and Bonventura Durall in the men's doubles White draw. Salas and Juri will take on Radford's Rodrigo Magalhaes and William Crane tomorrow in the semifinals.

In singles competition, freshman Nicaise Muamba, freshman Ian Sturgill, Juri and Wilson all won their matches in the men's singles Red draw. Muamba topped the Hokies' Bernstine in straight sets (6-2, 6-2) and will play against Presbyterian's Oscar Alvarez in a quarterfinal bout on Saturday. Sturgill needed just two sets to knock off the Hokies' Fragistas (6-4, 6-2) and will battle Charlotte's Menezes tomorrow.

Juri easily handled Charlotte's Henry Lieberman, 6-2, 6-0 and will meet Gardner-Webb's Hurrion in tomorrow's quarterfinals. Wilson picked up a first round straight-sets victory over Garnder-Webb's Scholl (6-4, 7-6 (3)), the 2016 Big South Freshman of the Year, and will meet Charlotte's Ben Wayand in the round of eight.

In the men's singles White draw, Salas got past Radford's Reed Crabtree 6-3, 6-2 and will play against Presbyterian's Jonathan Bedard on Saturday. Salas, Juri and Wilson were the three Flames to win both of their matches on Friday.

Below is the remaining schedule for days two and three of the invitational:

Saturday, 9 a.m.
Doubles, followed by a morning singles session and an afternoon singles session that will start at approximately 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, 12 p.m.
Doubles, followed by singles