Liberty Rolls to 6-1 Win Over Fairfield, Wednesday
Liberty men's tennis turned in its most dominating performance of its spring 2017 season, defeating Fairfield, 6-1, on Wednesday afternoon at the USTA National Campus.
The Flames swept the doubles point from the Stags and won at No. 2-6 singles. The five-point win was Liberty's largest margin of victory of the season.
With back-to-back wins, the Flames improve to 6-7 on the year, while Fairfield drops to 3-10.
Liberty head coach Chris Johnson's pairings proved effective on Wednesday. The tandem of Vince Salas and Eddie Gutierrez collected their second doubles win in three days, defeating Jeffrey Rodgers and Tyler Shibles at No. 2 doubles, 6-0. Liberty's duo of Chase Burton and Max Borcuti followed suit, winning 6-0 over Dylan Appel and Peter Colliard on court three.
The Flames' No. 1 pairing of Alex Poynter and Diego Castano won for the first time together, this spring. Their 6-3 triumph over Brad Orban and Anthony Caputo allowed Liberty to sweep the doubles point and go ahead, 1-0, in the early stages of the match.
"This was the best doubles we played all year. Our team is starting to play together," Johnson said. "That will be key for us moving forward."
The doubles matches set the stage for an equally strong singles session for Liberty. Castano pushed the Flames' advantage to 2-0 with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Ethan Ammon on court four. The victory was the junior captain's second straight and 11th overall singles victory during the 2016-17 season.
Burton won handedly over Rodgers (6-2, 6-2) in the No. 3 position, lifting Liberty to a 3-0 lead. Ryker Heller, in the Flames' lineup for the first time since Feb. 19, erased a one-set deficit to Shibles for a three-set victory (1-6, 6-1, 6-0). Heller's win clinched the match for the Flames.
Gutierrez prevailed in a tough two-set match over Caputo, 6-4, 7-5, on court two. Borcuti dropped his first set, 7-5, to Appel, but rebounded for a three-set win, 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8) at No. 5 singles. The victories by Gutierrez and Borcuti made it 6-0 in favor of Liberty.
Liberty's 6-1 win over Fairfield on Wednesday was its largest margin of victory of the season.
The final match of the day to be decided was between Salas and Orban. Orban took the first set 7-6 (13-11) in a tiebreaker and won a lengthy second set, giving the Stags their lone point of the day with a 7-6 (13-11), 7-5 victory.
The Flames will play their second match of the day at the USTA National Campus at 7 p.m. against the Saint Joseph's Hawks (5-5). The Hawks defeated Farleigh Dickinson, 4-3, Wednesday morning.
Live video will be available for Wednesday evening's match. Find the links for each match on the Liberty men's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com.