Friday, April 7, 2017

Flames to Meet Highlanders in Big South Road Match, Sunday

The Liberty Flames men's tennis squad will travel to Radford for a 1 p.m. match, Sunday at the Radford Tennis Complex.
The Flames (7-11, 0-4 Big South) are in search of their first conference win of 2017, while the Highlanders (4-12, 1-3 Big South) will be looking for their first Big South win since Feb. 19.
Liberty will take on Big South opponent Radford, Sunday afternoon.
Series HistoryLiberty has faced Radford 37 times, the most matches the Flames have played against any school in program history. Liberty is 8-29 in the all-time series.
The two programs last met on Liberty's Senior Day on March 31, 2016. The Flames prevailed, 6-1, in that match.
Flames Facts
Liberty freshmen Vince Salas (16-14 overall, 8-10 spring) and Chase Burton (15-13 overall, 10-8 spring) have the squad's two best singles records. Salas was recognized as the Big South Freshman of the Week on March 22, while Burton received the same honor on two occasions (Feb. 2, Feb. 8). Burton is 5-2 in the No. 1 slot this spring for a .714 winning percentage (third in Big South).
Sophomore captain Eddie Gutierrez (13-15 overall, 9-9 spring) is a combined 7-4 in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions in the lineup during the spring season, while junior captain Diego Castano (13-17 overall, 8-10 spring) has won four of his last seven singles bouts.
Liberty Head Men's Tennis Coach Chris Johnson's strongest doubles pairing for the duration of the 2016-17 season has been Castano and sophomore Alex Poynter (10-7 overall). The duo is 4-6 this spring. Sophomore Max Borcuti and Chase Burton are 7-5 as a tandem during the spring, including four straight victories. Collectively, the Flames are 24-24 (.500) in doubles matches during the spring season.
Season of Streaks 
The Flames have struggled to find consistency in 2017. After winning their season-opening matches against King and Bluefield State on Jan. 28, Liberty dropped its next two. When their record stood at 4-3 on Feb. 17 after a win at N.C. Central, the Flames lost their next four matches to fall to 4-7.
Following the four-match losing skid, Liberty won its next three matches over Farleigh Dickinson, Fairfield, and Saint Joseph's in Orlando, Fla. to improve to 7-7. However, the Flames have lost four in a row (East Carolina, Gardner-Webb, No. 17 Georgia Tech and Presbyterian).
Scouting Radford
The Highlanders carry 11 players on their roster, including: two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. Radford is coached by 21st-year head coach Mike Anderson, who has guided the Highlanders to six conference regular season titles and five Big South Men's Tennis Championship titles in his first 20 years at the helm.
In singles, senior Janken Thoen (6-7) has the best record among Highlanders players this spring, including a 4-3 mark in the No. 5 slot in the lineup. Thoen and his doubles partner, redshirt senior Samuel Taylor, have the most wins (6) among Radford doubles units.
Radford will also be hosting Big South leader Presbyterian (13-9, 5-0 Big South) on Saturday afternoon.

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