Phoenix Defeat Flames 5-2 on Tuesday
Fueled by a strong performance in singles, the Elon Phoenix bested the Liberty Flames 5-2, Tuesday afternoon at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center.
Liberty seized control of the match early on by winning the doubles point for a fifth consecutive match. However, Elon won first sets on four of the six singles courts and closed out each of those matches in two sets to seal the victory. The Phoenix added the fifth point with a three-set victory on court two.
Liberty is now 4-7 on the year and has lost two of its last three. Elon improves to 7-2 on the season.
Elon 5, Liberty 2
1. Felipe Sarrasague (ELON) def. #99 Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 6-1, 6-3
2. Mario Paccini (ELON) def. Josh Wilson (LIBERTYM) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
3. Felipe Osses-Konig (ELON) def. Eddie Gutierrez (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 6-3
4. Kyle Frankel (ELON) def. Ian Sturgill (LIBERTYM) 6-1, 6-3
5. Chase Burton (LIBERTYM) def. Jacob Bicknell (ELON) 6-3, 6-3
6. Taylor Foote (ELON) def. Steve Mundt (LIBERTYM) 6-3, 7-5
1. Felipe Sarrasague/Felipe Osses-Konig (ELON) def. Chase Burton/Nicaise Muamba (LIBERTYM) 6-2
2. Josh Wilson/Ian Sturgill (LIBERTYM) def. Taylor Foote/Mario Paccini (ELON) 6-2
3. Steve Mundt/Vince Salas (LIBERTYM) def. Kyle Frankel/Dino Bonetta (ELON) 7-5
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (4,3,5,1,6,2)
Thoughts From Head Coach Derek Schwandt
"Tough fight by the guys today. Elon played a solid match. For us to take our next step, we're going to have to be aware and take advantage of momentum shifts. Starting sets well, closing out sets and starting second sets well are all key moments. We are going to have to improve as a team on taking advantage of those key momentum moments."
How It Happened
- For a fifth straight match, the Flames won the doubles point. This time, it required a comeback effort from freshman Steve Mundt and Vince Salas on court three to extend the streak. Mundt and Salas trailed 5-3 to the Phoenix's Kyle Frankel and Dino Bonetta but won the next four games to claim the match, 7-5. Since joining forces on Feb. 15 against George Washington, Mundt and Salas are a perfect 5-0. Their victory put Liberty ahead 1-0.
- Liberty freshmen Josh Wilson and Ian Sturgill were the other victorious Flames doubles unit, besting Taylor Foote and Mario Paccini 6-2 on court two. The Flames' Chase Burton and Nicaise Muamba saw a three-match winning streak snapped at No. 1 doubles when they lost to Felipe Sarrasague and Felipe Osses-Konig by a 6-2 score.
- Elon rebounded in singles, as their No. 1, No. 3, No. 4 and No. 6 singles player all claimed first sets. Frankel of Elon (No. 4 singles) was the first player to close out a match. He bested Liberty's Sturgill 6-1, 6-3 to even the match at 1-1.
- Osses-Konig put the Phoenix ahead 2-1 with his two-set win on court three over Flames senior Eddie Gutierrez, 6-3, 6-3.
- Liberty's Burton picked up his fifth spring singles victory, defeating Bicknell in two sets (6-3, 6-3). The junior's victory knotted up the match at 2-2.
- Sarrasague of the Phoenix topped No. 99 Muamba of the Flames in straight sets (6-1, 6-3) in the No. 1 match for a 3-2 home lead.
- With the outcome still up in the air, the No. 6 match proved to be the difference-maker. Elon's Foote topped Mundt 6-3 in set one but trailed 5-2 in the second set. However, Foote rallied to win the next five games and the match (6-3, 7-5). His victory clinched the match, making it 4-2 Phoenix.
- Wilson of Liberty won the first set, 6-4, against Paccini on court two, but Paccini clawed back to take the second and third sets by identical 6-4 scores. The Elon senior's victory settled the final score at 5-2.
- Liberty has not won a road match yet this year (0-6 record). Meanwhile, Elon has an unblemished 4-0 record at home.
- The Phoenix is now 10-2 in the all-time series with the Flames.
- Liberty will be back in action at Richmond (8-2), Friday at 1 p.m.
- The Spiders hold an 11-3 edge in the all-time series. Richmond topped Liberty 4-3 in the most recent meeting, Jan. 26, 2018 at Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg.