Flames Defeated by No. 22 Bruins on the Road, Monday
The Flames men's tennis squad was defeated 6-1 by the 22nd-ranked UCLA Bruins, Monday afternoon at the Los Angeles Tennis Center.
Liberty sees its overall record fall to 8-5 on the season. The Flames fall below .500 (3-4) in road matches in what was their second road contest in three days against a ranked opponent (also No. 38 Virginia, Saturday).
UCLA, which won a close doubles session and took five of the six singles matches, improves to 9-4 on the year and has now captured five straight contests.
#22 UCLA 6, Liberty 1
1. #4 Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 6-1, 6-4
2. #21 Govind Nanda (UCLA) def. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 6-1
3. Drew Baird (UCLA) def. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) 7-5, 6-2
4. Goncalo Ferreira (LIBERTYM) def. Ben Goldberg (UCLA) 6-4, 6-3
5. Mathew Tsolakyan (UCLA) def. R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
6. Roscoe Bellamy (UCLA) def. Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) 6-2, 6-3
1. #29 Govind Nanda/Keegan Smith (UCLA) def. Goncalo Ferreira/Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) 6-1
2. Drew Baird/Connor Rapp (UCLA) vs. R. Marques Da Silva/Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 6-6 (4-2), unfinished
3. Bryce Pereira/Patrick Zahraj (UCLA) def. Chase Burton/Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) 7-6 (7-2)
UCLA 9-4; National ranking #22
Order of finish: Doubles (1,3); Singles (2,1,4,6,3,5)
How It Happened
• UCLA's top pairing, No. 29 Govind Nanda and Keegan Smith, topped Liberty's Goncalo Ferreira and Josh Wilson on court one 6-1, handing the Flames duo their first loss in the No. 1 slot.
• On court three, the Flames' Chase Burton and Deji Thomas-Smith led Bryce Pereira and Patrick Zahraj 4-1 and eventually 5-4. The Bruins duo came back to force a tiebreaker, which they won 7-6 (2) to secure a 1-0 edge for the hosts. Meanwhile, the No. 2 doubles match between Rafael Marques Da Silva/Nicaise Muamba (Liberty) and Drew Baird/Connor Rapp went unfinished at 6-6.
• UCLA's lead grew to 3-0 as its top two players, Smith and Nanda, secured victories. Smith, the No. 4-ranked singles player in the nation, downed Muamba in straight sets (6-1, 6-4). Nanda, the No. 21 player in the country, got past Wilson of the Flames in two sets as well, 6-3, 6-1.
• Liberty's only point of the day came from Ferreira in the No. 4 slot. The Portugal native toppled the Bruins' Ben Goldberg 6-4, 6-3. Ferriera improved to 7-5 in spring singles bouts and sliced the UCLA lead to 3-1 with his victory.
• UCLA sophomore Roscoe Bellamy provided the match-clinching fourth point for the hosts. The California native won in straight sets (6-2, 6-3) at flight six singles over Liberty's Thomas-Smith.
• The Bruins earned the final two points of the day on courts three and five, respectively. In the No. 3 match, Baird took down Burton of Liberty 7-5, 6-2.
• Only one match, the No. 5 singles contest between Matthew Tsolakyan (UCLA) and Marques Da Silva (Liberty), went to three sets. Tsolakyan prevailed in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to snap Marques Da Silva's 10-match winning streak and bring the final score to 6-1.
• No. 22 UCLA was the highest-ranked foe Liberty has faced since playing at No. 16 Florida State, Feb. 24, 2018.
• The Flames are now 0-2 all-time against Pac-12 schools. Liberty fell 4-3 at Washington in 2019.
• Monday's match was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday but was bumped up a day due to forecasted rain tomorrow.
• Liberty will play another road match on Wednesday, taking on the San Diego Toreros (7-3). First serve is slated for 4 p.m. Eastern at the Hogan Tennis Center in San Diego, Calif. This will be the first dual match between the two teams.