Liberty Handed 2nd Big South Loss by Campbell, Thursday
The Liberty men's tennis team was defeated, 6-1, by visiting Campbell in Big South action, Thursday afternoon at the Cook Tennis Center.
With the win, the Camels move to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in Big South play. The Flames fall to 4-6 overall and 0-2 in the Big South.
Campbell started the afternoon by sweeping the doubles matches to take the first point of the day. The No. 3 pairing of Gerard Sola and Jonathan O'Neal was tied, 3-3, with the Flames' Chase Burton and Max Borcuti before taking the final three games to win, 6-3.
In the No. 2 doubles match, Liberty's duo of Vince Salas and Eddie Gutierrez was also tied, 3-3, with Nicolas Rakitin and Lukas Schaefer. The Camels' pairing took three of the last four games to prevail, 6-4. The win gave the visitors the doubles point.
The Flames' No. 1 unit of Alex Poynter and Diego Castano was even, 5-5, with Dustin Werner and Lorenz Schwab when Rakitin and Schaefer clinched the doubles point. As a result, the No. 1 doubles match was settled by a seven-point tiebreaker, won 7-5 by Werner and Schwab to take the match, 6-5 (7-5).
The Camels got off to a strong start in singles play, aided by Sola's 6-0, 6-2 victory over Poynter in the No. 4 match. The win pushed the Campbell lead over Liberty to 2-0 and kept Sola unbeaten in singles competition (12-0) on the spring.
Rakitin brought the Camels within a point of victory with a straight-sets (6-2, 6-3) triumph over Gutierrez at No. 1 singles.
Momentum appeared to be shifting in the Flames' favor once they trailed, 3-0. Burton led Schaeffer by a set and erased a 5-2 deficit in the second set in the No. 2 match, while Salas took down Werner, 6-0, in set two after losing the first set, 6-4.
At the same time, Castano trailed Schwab by a set in the No. 5 position but broke Schwab's serve when he led, 5-4, in the second set. Finally, Borcuti led Fernando Clemente by a set in the No. 6 singles match and was locked in a close battle in set number two.
Schwab then took the last two games from Castano to provide the Camels the fourth point with a 6-4, 7-5 win. Once the outcome was in hand for the visitors, the matches between Burton and Schaeffer (No. 2) and Borcuti and Clemente (No. 6) were settled in third-set tiebreakers, after Campbell won the second set in both matches.
Schaefer handed Burton a setback by winning the tiebreaker and the match, 3-6, 7-5, 1-0 (10-7). Borcuti also dropped his tiebreaker, 10-7, to Clemente, giving Clemente a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-7) triumph.
The final match between Salas and Werner needed a tiebreaker to settle it. After falling into an early hole in the tiebreaker, Salas clawed back for a victory (4-6, 6-0, 7-6 (8-6)), giving the Flames their lone point of the day. The Angeles, Philippines, native's win was his team-best 13th victory in singles, this season.
Salas collected Liberty's lone point of the afternoon against Campbell with a victory in his No. 3 singles match.
Liberty will be in action over spring break in Orlando, Fla. The Flames will compete against Valparaiso (Sunday, 11:30 a.m.), Farleigh Dickinson (Monday, 11:30 a.m.), Fairfield (Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.) and Saint Joseph's (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) over a four-day stretch.