CONWAY, S.C. -- Liberty rallied from a 3-1 deficit to edge Big South Conference rival Coastal Carolina 4-3 on Wednesday afternoon at the Billy Nichols Tennis Center.
The win improves the Flames’ record to 11-9 overall and 4-3 in conference matches. The victory marks Liberty’s first win against the Chanticleers since the 2005 campaign, halting a 10-match losing skid. The loss drops defending Big South champion Coastal Carolina to 10-9 on the season and 2-4 in league play.
For just the second time this season in conference play, Liberty was swept in the doubles matches. In the No. 1 spot, Philipp Tsangaridis and Leo Christofides ousted the Flames’ Jorge Azuero and Alejandro Llamas 8-3.
Coastal Carolina’s Ted Nilsson and Jabor Al-Mutawa ousted Shea Thomas and Guillem Secanell 8-5 to clinch the point for the home team.
The Chanticleers completed the doubles sweep when Garik Yedigarian and Renan Samed edged Liberty’s Egon Samaai and Dillon Segur 8-7. The loss halted Samaai and Segur’s six-match winning streak and is just their second conference setback of the season.
The Flames tied the contest at one apiece courtesy of a singles win by Segur in the No. 5 spot. The junior ousted Hunter Whalen 6-4, 6-2 to improve to 9-5 overall and 5-2 in Big South matches.
Coastal Carolina surged back in front by two, after capturing wins in the No. 2 and No. 4 positions. Samaai fell to Nilsson 6-1, 6-3 before Samed knocked off Liberty’s Stan Vaughan 7-5, 6-1.
Facing a 3-1 deficit, the Flames battled back to tie the match at three each. Azuero tallied Liberty’s second point with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat of Christofides in the No. 3 spot.
Thomas continued his strong play in singles matches, bouncing No. 101 ranked Tsangaridis 6-4, 6-4 in the top spot to improve to a team-best 13-6. The win was Thomas’ fourth consecutive singles victory and second consecutive win against a nationally-ranked opponent.
With the contest knotted at three apiece, the match came down to the No. 6 tilt featuring Llamas versus Al-Mutawa. Llamas won a tight first set 7-6 before posting a 6-4 win in set two to seal the win for the Flames.