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    Pair of Liberty Players Reach Quarterfinals at Elon Invitational

    Sep 23, 2022 | Elon NC | Men's Tennis

    Two Liberty players, Zion Heaven and Thando Longwe-Smit, both won their opening round singles matches on day one of the Elon Invitational, Friday at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.

    Heaven and Longwe-Smit will both compete in tomorrow’s quarterfinal round of their respective flights. Both Flames players improved to 4-0 in singles this fall with their triumphs.

    Meanwhile, the pairing of Heaven and Deji Thomas-Smith split its two doubles matches later in the day.

    Key Stats & Notes
    • Heaven, entered in the Phoenix singles draw, came back to win his round of 16 Maroon singles draw match with Radford’s Demis Taramonlis. The Liberty senior fell 7-5 in the opening set but rallied to win the last two sets and the match, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
    • Heaven’s quarterfinal opponent will be UNC Asheville’s Brann Reid. That match will begin at 9 a.m., Saturday morning.
    • Longwe-Smit topped his counterpart, UNCG’s John Gabelic, 6-4, 6-4 in the round of 16. The Liberty redshirt junior will face host Elon’s Esteban Penagos in tomorrow’s quarterfinals beginning at 9 a.m.
    • Thomas-Smith fell in three sets (6-1, 3-6, 6-4) to Elon’s Veljko Krstic in his opening round match of the Maroon singles flight. He will face the North Carolina A&T Aggies’ Vasil Ivanov in a consolation match, tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
    • Heaven and Thomas-Smith fell 6-3 to North Carolina A&T’s Esteban Lopez and Alex Martinez-Sanzin their opening round bout. The Flames pairing rebounded with a victory in their backdraw match of the Maroon doubles flight, 6-3 over Elon’s Nicholas Campbell and Krstic. The duo will take on the host Phoenix’s Daniel Martin and Ben Zipay in tomorrow’s consolation championship match.
    • Longwe-Smit was paired with the Phoenix’s Penagos in the Phoenix doubles draw. The duo lost both of its matches.
    • Liberty finished the day with a 2-1 singles record and 1-3 doubles mark.

    Up Next
    Day two of the Elon Invitational will feature quarterfinals and semifinals of singles. Matches will begin at 9 a.m. at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.