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Flames Collect 12 Total Wins on Day 2 of Liberty University Invitational

September 14, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Mundt (left) and Thomas-Smith (right) were victorious in doubles, Saturday at the Liberty Invitational.

Mundt (left) and Thomas-Smith (right) were victorious in doubles, Saturday at the Liberty Invitational.

The Liberty Flames tennis squad collected 12 total wins (nine singles, three doubles) on day two of the Liberty University Invitational, Saturday at the Cook Tennis Center. The Flames will compete in three title matches on Sunday on the third and final day of the invite.

"Will and Goncalo pushed themselves hard today," stated Liberty Men's Tennis Head Coach Derek Schwandt. "We came out with strong energy in doubles. We are looking forward to building on today."

Liberty started the morning with a 3-0 record in doubles bouts. In the top doubles draw (Red), Chase Burton and Ian Sturgill rolled past Furman's Drew Singerman and Henrik Atlevi with a 6-1 victory. In the same draw, fellow Flames Goncalo Ferreira and Josh Wilson won by an identical 6-1 score against Richmond's pairing of Matthew Fernandez and Ricky Bell. The two Liberty teams will play in tomorrow's final.

The Flames' duo of Steve Mundt and Deji Thomas-Smith advanced to the White draw championship with a 7-5 triumph over Kennesaw State's Harvey Maughan and Mritunjay Badola. The Liberty pairing will take on Klein Evans and Campbell Erwin of Richmond tomorrow in the title match.

In singles, No. 1 seed Wilson of the Flames advanced to the Red draw final with a pair of victories on Saturday. The Liberty sophomore topped Furman's James Roelofse in straight sets (6-0, 6-4) in the quarterfinals, followed by a two-set win (7-6 (1), 6-2) over Elon's Kyle Frankel in the semifinals. Wilson will square off with East Carolina's Diogo Marques in tomorrow's final.

In the Blue draw, Mundt also claimed a pair of contests on day two. Mundt started with a come-from-behind three-set victory (5-7, 6-3, 7-5) over ECU's Nelson Stafford in the quarterfinal round. Mundt took down Seru Tezuka of Kennesaw State by a 6-4, 6-4 score in the semifinals. The Berlin, Germany, native will face off against Furman's Henrik Atlevi in the championship match.

Flames newcomer Joseph Emerson notched his first two collegiate singles triumphs on Saturday in the backdraw of the Blue bracket. The California native started his day with a three-set victory (6-0, 6-7 (1), 6-1) versus Max Zucker of Elon. Emerson followed it up with a straight-sets decision (7-6, 6-2) over Richmond's Josh Keitelman.

Burton (Red draw), Ian Sturgill (White draw) and William Barker (Blue draw) each went 1-1 for the Flames in singles. Burton's victory came against Richmond's John Walsh in two sets, 6-4, 6-4. Sturgill won 6-0, 1-0 (retired) over Kennesaw State's Gaston Muhammed. Barker got past Badola (Kennesaw State) in a lengthy three-set battle (6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (8)).

Competing in the top singles draw (Red), Ferreira dropped a pair of tough matches against Elon's Camilo Ponce (7-6, 6-3) and Richmond's Matthew Fernandez (3-6, 7-6 (12), 6-3).

Through two days of competition, the Flames have totaled 15 singles victories and six doubles wins.

The final day of the Liberty Invitational will begin at noon on Sunday at the Cook Tennis Center and will feature doubles and singles finals.