Flames to Open ASUN Play Against Conference Newcomer Queens
The Liberty Flames men’s tennis team (1-1) will be taking on the Queens Royals (0-3) on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Liberty Indoor Tennis Center. The match will be the ASUN conference opener for both teams as well as the first ever meeting between the two programs.
The Flames are looking to defend and win their third straight ASUN championship title. Liberty was picked to finish first in the conference in the 2023 ASUN Men’s Tennis Preseason Coaches Poll.
Liberty is coming off its first win of the season, a 6-1 triumph over the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles on Saturday.
The Queens are playing their inaugural season at the Division I level after being added to the ASUN in 2022. The Royals are coming off winning the Division II South Atlantic Conference and competing in the first round of the NCAA DII Championships.
Flames News and Notes
• The Flames are the two-time defending ASUN Conference champions and were picked to finish first in the league in the 2023 ASUN Men’s Tennis Preseason Coaches Poll.
• This is the earliest Liberty has ever opened its ASUN Conference slate in its five years in the league.
• Wednesday will be the first meeting between Liberty and Queens in men’s tennis.
• Liberty finished 2022 with a 6-1 record at home, with the loss coming in a 4-3 score to No. 60-ranked Florida Atlantic.
• Queens is coming off a 5-2 loss to No. 14 Wake Forest on Saturday
• Liberty’s No. 1 doubles pairing of Josh Wilson and Christian Worst are looking for their first win of the spring 2023 season. The two are coming off a 6-4 loss to Tennessee Tech, but both players won their respective singles matches. Wilson and Worst led all Flames doubles units with 10 wins during the fall campaign
• After being swept in singles by No. 1 Virginia, Liberty rebounded by sweeping Tennessee Tech 4-0 in singles while dropping only one set
• Liberty’s Men’s Tennis Coach Derek Schwandt is in his sixth season as head coach and owns a 66-48 overall record with an 18-3 ASUN record
• Liberty is looking for its first spring doubles win, as the Flames are 0-4 to start the season
• The Royals’ Laurenz Blickwede got his first victory of the season Saturday by defeating Wake Forest’s Vikas Deo in the No. 4 spot by a final score of 6-4, 6-3. Queens’ Milan Gonela also got his first win of the season Saturday by taking down the Demon Deacons’ Togan Makzume in the No. 5 position, 8-5
• Liberty finished the 2022 season with a 13-11 overall record and 6-3 ASUN mark. Liberty ended the year as the No. 66-ranked team in the country.
Main Photo at Top of Story: Zion Heaven (left) and Beau Pelletier (right)