No. 72 Liberty Wins Third Straight ASUN Match, Defeating UNA 6-1 on Road
No. 72-ranked Liberty claimed its third straight ASUN victory, defeating the North Alabama Lions 6-1 on Friday at the UNA Varsity Tennis Courts.
The Flames improve to 7-9 overall and move above .500 (3-2) in the ASUN for the first time this spring. The Lions slip to 2-13 overall and 0-3 in the ASUN.
Liberty improves to 4-0 all-time against UNA. The Flames earned the doubles point and won five of the six singles matches. The Lions challenged the Flames on Friday, as three of the six singles contests went to three sets. Liberty won all three of those three-set matches.
Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt
“The team showed good patience, and we played tough out of the corners. We are playing with a want-the-ball mentality.”
#72 Liberty 6, North Alabama 1
- Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) def. Fernando Herrera (UNA) 6-0, 6-4
- Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) def. Carlos Matarredona (UNA) 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
- R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) def. Chris Zhang (UNA) 6-2, 6-2
- Christiaan Worst (LIBERTYM) def. Guilherme Diniz (UNA) 6-3, 2-6, 6-2
- Thando Longwe-Smit (LIBERTYM) def. Nazar Fedoryshyn (UNA) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
- Jamie Bixby (UNA) def. Omar El Kadi (LIBERTYM) 7-6, 7-5
- Nicaise Muamba/R. Marques Da Silva (LIBERTYM) def. Chris Zhang/Carlos Matarredona (UNA) 6-2
- Nazar Fedoryshyn/Fernando Herrera (UNA) vs. Omar El Kadi/Thando Longwe-Smit (LIBERTYM) 3-5, unfinished
- Josh Wilson/Christiaan Worst (LIBERTYM) def. Jamie Bixby/Guilherme Diniz (UNA) 6-1
Liberty 7-9, 3-2 ASUN; National ranking #72
North Alabama 2-13, 0-3 ASUN
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,3,6,5,4,2)
How It Happened
• Liberty won the doubles point for an early 1-0 advantage. The Flames’ No. 3 duo, Josh Wilson and Christiaan Worst, secured a 6-1 victory on court three versus Jamie Bixby and Guilherme Diniz of the Lions. Wilson and Worst are 3-1 in the No. 3 slot since being paired up for the first time this spring on March 20.
• Liberty’s No. 1 doubles unit, Nicaise Muamba and Rafael Marques Da Silva, clinched the first point of the morning for the visitors. The duo topped Chris Zhang and Carlos Matarredona 6-2. Muamba and Marques Da Silva are 6-3 in spring doubles contests and sport a 25-8 overall record over the last two seasons (fall and spring).
• In singles, the Flames’ Wilson put the second point of day on the board for the visitors with his 6-0, 6-4 result over Fernando Herrera in the No. 1 singles position. Wilson sports a 4-0 mark since moving into the No. 1 spot in the lineup.
• Wilson’s victory was his 25th of the season between fall and spring competition. The Liberty junior is the fourth player in program history to win 25 or more matches in a season, joining Sam Matheson (28 wins, 2016), Shea Thomas (27 wins, 2013) and Muamba (26 wins, 2019).
• Liberty’s Marques Da Silva also won his match in straight sets, besting Zhang 6-2, 6-2 in the No. 3 slot.
• Trailing 3-0, UNA got its only point of the contest from Bixby (No. 6 singles), a 7-6, 6-5 winner over Omar El Kadi of the Flames.
• Liberty’s Thando Longwe-Smit extended the lead back to three (4-1) and clinched the win for the guests by defeating Nazar Fedorshyn in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Longwe-Smit has won back-to-back singles matches.
• The Flames’ Worst was also victorious in three sets. The Pretoria, South Africa native got past Diniz in the No. 4 singles match, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2. Worst and Wilson share the Liberty team lead with 10 singles win apiece, this spring.
• The sixth and final point of the contest came via Muamba on court two. Muamba and Matarredona matched up and went to three sets for a second straight season, and it was Muamba who prevailed again (6-7, 6-4, 6-2).
• This is the first time in the series that Liberty did not sweep UNA 7-0. In four all-time meetings, the Flames have outscored the Lions 27-1.
• The Flames will gear up for their next match a week from today at Bellarmine (5-10, 1-3 ASUN). Next Friday’s contest will get started at 3 p.m. at the Eddie Weber Tennis Complex in Louisville, Ky.
• Liberty is 4-0 all-time versus Bellarmine. The Flames defeated the Knights three times in 2021, including a 4-0 win in the ASUN Men’s Tennis Championship quarterfinal round. Liberty’s other two victories versus Bellarmine last season were 7-0 sweeps.