No. 67 Liberty Ousts Jacksonville State 4-0 in ASUN Quarterfinals, Friday
No. 67 Liberty ousted Jacksonville State 4-0 in the 2022 ASUN Men’s Tennis Championship quarterfinal round on Friday evening at the FGCU Tennis Complex.
The No. 3 seed Flames improve to 11-10 on the season while eliminating the Gamecocks from postseason play and ending their season. JSU finishes the year with an 8-10 mark. Liberty defeated JSU twice this year to complete the season sweep.
Defending ASUN champion Liberty will move onto tomorrow’s ASUN Tournament semifinals, where it will meet No. 2 seed and 75th-ranked Kennesaw State (15-5). First serve between the Flames and Owls is 5 p.m. in Fort Myers. In the other semifinal, No. 1 seed and host No. 71 FGCU (14-6) will meet No. 4 seed and No. 70 North Florida (16-7). The Ospreys bested No. 5 seed Stetson 4-2 in Friday’s other quarterfinal matchup.
Liberty’s Josh Wilson matched a program record with his 28th singles win of the 2021-22 campaign. Wilson shares the program record with former Flame Sam Matheson, who won 28 matches during the 2015-16 campaign.
Saturday, April 23 – Semifinals
No. 2 seed Kennesaw State (15-5) vs. No. 3 seed Liberty (11-10), 5 p.m.
No. 1 seed FGCU (14-6) vs. No. 4 seed North Florida (16-7), 5 p.m.
Sunday, April 24 – Final
Winners of semifinals, 1 p.m. – ESPN+
#67 Liberty 4, Jacksonville State 0
- Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) def. Joaquin Vallejo (JSUMT22) 6-4, 6-2
- Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) vs. Thomas Norwood (JSUMT22) 6-4, 1-2, unfinished
- R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) vs. Vicente Arbelaez (JSUMT22) 6-4, 4-3, unfinished
- Christiaan Worst (LIBERTYM) def. Vanja Dobrnjac (JSUMT22) 6-2, 6-1
- Deji Thomas-Smith (LIBERTYM) vs. Jordi Blanchar (JSUMT22) 1-6, 5-6, unfinished
- Thando Longwe-Smit (LIBERTYM) def. Daisuke Inagawa (JSUMT22) 6-3, 6-1
- Nicaise Muamba/R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) def. Vanja Dobrnjac/Jordi Blanchar (JSUMT22) 6-3
- Josh Wilson/Christiaan Worst (LIBERTYM) def. Thomas Norwood/Daisuke Inagawa (JSUMT22) 6-3
- Thando Longwe-Smit/Omar El Kadi (LIBERTYM) vs. Joaquin Vallejo/Alex Vishnevskiy (JSUMT22) 3-5, unfinished
Liberty 11-10; National ranking #67
Jacksonville State 8-10
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (4,6,1)
2022 ASUN Men’s Tennis Championship Quarterfinals
Official: Bob Booth T-1:53
How It Happened
• Liberty has now reached the ASUN Championship semifinal round in its of its three full seasons in the league.
• Liberty claimed the doubles point for the third straight match and the fifth time in its last five matches. The Flames’ No. 2 and No. 1 units lifted the squad to the first point of the evening.
• Playing in the No. 2 slot for the first time as a unit this spring, Liberty’s Josh Wilson and Christiaan Worst upended the JSU duo of Daisuke Inagawa and Thomas Norwood 6-3. Wilson and Worst improve to 7-1 in doubles, this spring.
• Nicaise Muamba and Rafael Marques Da Silva of the Flames trailed 2-1 early in their match with Jordi Blanchar and Vanja Dobrnjac on court one. Liberty’s ASUN Doubles Pair of the Year closed strong for a 6-3 decision, their team-best 10th spring victory. Muamba and Marques Da Silva have now won 30 career matches together.
• In singles, Worst (No. 4), Thando Longwe-Smit (No. 6) and Wilson (No. 1) were each victorious in their respective matches. Worst earned a dominant 6-2, 6-1 win versus Dobrnjac for a 2-0 Liberty lead. Worst improves to a team-best 15-5 in spring singles competition.
• Longwe-Smit claimed eight of the final nine games in his match with Inagawa, prevailing 6-3, 6-1. Longwe-Smit’s ninth spring singles triumph (9-8 record) put the defending champs within a point of victory, 3-0.
• A day after being named to the ASUN All-Conference first team and earning his second straight ASUN Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, Liberty’s Wilson added to his win total and clinched the match for the No. 3-seeded Flames. Wilson defeated Joaquin Vallejo in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. He is 13-5 this spring and 7-1 in the No. 1 slot.
• Liberty’s No. 2 and No. 3 singles players, Muamba and Marques Da Silva, each won opening sets in their respective matches before have their contests went unfinished.
• Liberty improves to 4-1 all-time in ASUN Championship matches.
• The Flames claimed both meetings with the Gamecocks this season and are 2-1 in the all-time series. Friday’s win was Liberty’s first at a neutral site, this spring.
• The Flames will square off with the No. 75-ranked Kennesaw State Owls (15-5), Saturday evening. Match time is 5 p.m. from the FGCU Tennis Complex. The winner of the match will play in Sunday afternoon’s championship match at 1 p.m. The title match can be seen on ESPN+.
• KSU topped Liberty 4-1 in the ASUN regular season opener, March 19 in Kennesaw, Ga. The Flames hold a 3-1 edge in the all-time series and eliminating the Owls from the 2021 ASUN Championship with a 4-1 semifinal win.