Heaven and Longwe-Smit Finish 3-0 in Singles Following Wins Over Penn
Zion Heaven and Longwe-Smit of the Liberty Flames men’s tennis squad were both victorious on Sunday against the host Penn Quakers, with each player finishing a perfect 3-0 at the season-opening Penn Invitational.
Heaven and Longwe-Smit went unbeaten on the weekend at the Hamlin Tennis Center while facing foes from Penn (Sunday), Temple (Saturday) and Princeton (Friday). Heaven claimed all three of his matches in two sets, while Longwe-Smit won twice in straight sets and prevailed in a lengthy three-set battle today with the Quakers’ Matthew Rutter.
On the day, the Flames finished with a 1-2 doubles record and 2-5 singles mark against the Quakers, the No. 40-ranked team at 2022 season’s end. Penn pulled out a pair of three-set singles matches to get to five wins on the day in what was a closely-contested contest with Liberty.
Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt
“We competed well in a tough environment today. The margins are small out here. We are excited to return to LU and continuing to work on our training plan.”
Key Stats & Notes
• In three days of competition, the Flames finished the event with a 15-7 combined singles record and 5-5 doubles mark.
• Heaven’s victory on Sunday was over Zachery Lim of Penn, 6-3, 7-6 (4). The Ewa Beach, Hawaii native also teamed up with Beau Pelletier to earn Liberty’s one doubles victory. Heaven and Pelletier topped Lim and Baylor Sai 8-5 for their first win as a pairing.
• Longwe-Smit’s three-set bout with Rutter saw the Liberty redshirt junior win 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.
• Despite setbacks today in singles competition, Pelletier, Rafael Marques Da Silva and Deji Thomas-Smith still finished with above .500 records (2-1). Omar El Kadi was 1-0 this weekend.
Liberty’s next event this fall will be the ITA All-American Championships. The nine-day event, held in Tulsa, Okla., will run from Oct. 1-9 at Tulsa’s Michael D. Case Tennis Center and Case Tennis Center at LaFortune Park.