No. 39 Liberty to Battle Against No. 36 Duke at 2022 ITA Kickoff Weekend
For the second straight year, the Liberty Flames men's tennis team will compete at ITA Kickoff weekend, a prestigious event featuring the best teams in the nation. Liberty, which finished as the No. 39-ranked team in the country in 2021, will compete at South Carolina's Carolina Tennis Center in Jan. 2022 during the early portion of its spring season.
The 2021 ASUN champion Flames, the No. 3 seed, will face No. 36 Duke, the No. 2 seed, at South Carolina on Jan. 29, 2022. No. 13 South Carolina (No. 1 seed) and No. 42 LSU (No. 4 seed) comprise the rest of the four-team field. The ITA conducted its Kickoff Weekend draft on Thursday afternoon.
"We are excited about competing in the ITA National Indoor Kickoff Weekend," stated Liberty fifth-year head coach Derek Schwandt, the 2021 ASUN Coach of the Year. "We are focused on finding opportunities to compete and improve our games this summer. This is something to look forward to as we go on the attack this summer."
The winners of the two matches will meet in the championship match on Jan. 30, 2022, while the other two teams will battle in a consolation contest. There are 15 host sites on the men's side, with four teams competing at each site. The winner at each site will advance to the 47th Annual ITA Division I Men's Team Indoor Championship, held Feb. 18-21, 2022 at Washington. Washington will automatically be in the 16-team field as the host site school.
Liberty (20-7, 6-0 ASUN in 2021) and Duke (12-11, 6-5 ACC in 2021) met for the first time in 2021. The Blue Devils edged the Flames 5-2 at the Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center on March 31. Liberty has never faced South Carolina (17-10, 7-5 SEC in 2021). The Flames have faced LSU (12-13, 4-8 SEC in 2021) once, which came back in 2014.
The Flames competed at 2021 ITA Kickoff Weekend, Jan. 22-23 in Austin, Texas. Liberty took on host No. 6 Texas and Arizona. The Wildcats finished the 2021 campaign with a No. 16 national ranking.
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022
No. 13 South Carolina vs. No. 42 LSU – Time TBA
No. 36 Duke vs. No. 39 Liberty – Time TBA
Sunday, Jan. 30, 2022
Championship match – Time TBA
Consolation match – Time TBA
— ITA (@ITA_Tennis) June 17, 2021