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Flames Defeat Hokies for First Time, 4-3 on Sunday Afternoon

February 9, 2020  Blacksburg, Va.  RSS
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Wilson and the Flames topped the Hokies in a thriller, 4-3 on Sunday.

Wilson and the Flames topped the Hokies in a thriller, 4-3 on Sunday.

The Liberty men's tennis team earned its first-ever victory over Virginia Tech, defeating the Hokies 4-3 at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center on Sunday afternoon.

Flames sophomore Josh Wilson secured the victory with a come-from-behind three-set victory on court two (4-6, 6-2, 6-4) over the Hokies' Alex Ribeiro. Liberty also received singles wins from Goncalo Ferreira (No. 4), Rafael Marques Da Silva (No. 5) and Deji Thomas-Smith (No. 6) after dropping the doubles point.

Liberty improves to 4-2 on the and is now 1-3 all-time against Virginia Tech. The Hokies drop to 3-3 on the season, losing for the first time at home this season. Virginia Tech entered Sunday's match having won 16 of its last 17 home matches, dating back to the 2019 season. It was the Hokies' first home setback since a 7-0 loss to No. 6 North Carolina, March 2, 2019.

Liberty 4, Virginia Tech 3

Singles Competition
1. #120 Mitch Harper (VT) def. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 7-5, 6-3
2. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) def. Alex Ribeiro (VT) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
3. Carlo Donato (VT) def. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) 6-2, 6-1
4. Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) def. Matthis Ross (VT) 7-6 (7-5), 6-4
5. R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) def. Chase Bernstine (VT) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3
6. Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) def. Ryan Kros (VT) 6-4, 6-4

Doubles Competition
1. Henrik Korsgaard/Alex Ribeiro (VT) def. Nicaise Muamba/Steve Mundt (LIBERTYM) 7-5
2. Mitch Harper/Carlo Donato (VT) def. Goncalo Ferreira/Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) 7-6 (7-1)
3. Ian Sturgill/Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) def. Ryan Kros/Matthis Ross (VT) 7-5

Liberty 4-2
Virginia Tech 3-3
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (3,6,1,4,5,2)

Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt
"The guys responded to adversity all match. We are excited to get back to work and get better. Conditioning and serve and return are big areas moving forward."

How It Happened
• The Flames dropped the doubles point but rallied for its second victory in the last three matches after falling behind 1-0. Liberty's Ian Sturgill and Deji Thomas-Smith were victorious on court three, as they defeated Ryan Kros and Matthis Ross 7-5. However, the Hokies' Henrik Korsgaard and Alex Ribeiro clinched doubles by virtue of a 7-5 victory versus Nicaise Muamba and Steve Mundt in the No. 1 match.
• Liberty fell behind 3-1 in the match prior to rallying for the final three points. Flames freshman Deji Thomas-Smith provided the first point of the day for the visitors when he topped Ryan Kros of the Hokies 6-4, 6-4 on court six. Leading 2-1, Virginia Tech stretched the advantage to two points (3-1) with a 7-5, 6-3 triumph from No. 120 Mitch Harper over Liberty's Muamba in the No. 1 singles contest.
• The Flames' Goncalo Ferreira battled past Ross 7-6 (5), 6-4 on court four to get Liberty within one, 3-2. Fellow freshmen Rafael Marques Da Silva continued his winning ways with a three-set decision (6-2, 3-6, 6-3) over his counterpart, Chase Bernstine, in the No. 5 singles position. The native of São Paulo, Brazil, now stands at 5-1 in spring singles bouts.
• With the match on the line, Wilson delivered the fourth and final point of the day for the Flames. Down a set to Ribeiro, the Liberty sophomore claimed the second set 6-2 and led 5-4 with a deuce point situation coming while on serve. Wilson won that point and the match, as Ribeiro's serve return sailed long. The Reigate, United Kingdom, native's third victory at No. 2 singles this spring propelled the visiting Flames to the 4-3 win.
• On Jan. 31, Liberty also dropped the doubles point before rallying to defeat Longwood 6-1 at Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg.
• The Flames are a combined 23-13 (.639) in singles and 11-7 (.611) in doubles through six spring matches.
• This is Liberty's best six-match start (4-2) to a season since the 2015 team also began the year by winning four of its first six matches.

Next Up
• The Flames will remain on the road next weekend when they face two more opponents from the state of Virginia in Old Dominion (6-1) and William & Mary (3-0). Liberty will square off with ODU, Friday evening at 6 p.m. The Flames will then take on the Tribe on Sunday morning at 11 a.m.