BALTIMORE- The UMBC men's tennis team split its singles matches with Liberty, but the visiting Flames captured the doubles point and edged the Retrievers, 4-3, in the first match of the season played at the UMBC Tennis Complex.
Liberty, which is coming off a win over nationally-ranked Oklahoma State, improved to 6-3, while UMBC slipped to 4-4.
"The matches were extremely close, but in these situations it always seems to comedown to the doubles and we came up short again," head coach Rob Hubbard said. "We'll have to keep working hard on the doubles and hope our fortunes start to turn there by the time we get to conference play."
Liberty won the doubles point, sweeping the three matches, although all three were tightly- contested.
The Flames would clinch the match by taking the top three singles flights in tense two-set contests. The second sets in all three matches were very close, illustrated best by a 6-3, 7-6 victory by Liberty's Shea Thomas over UMBC senior Joe Adewumi (Phoenix, Ariz.) at the No. 2 position.
Retriever freshmen won the Nos. 4,5, and 6 flights, all in third-set tie-breaks. No. 4 Juan Manuel Aranzazu (Ibague, Colombia) defeated Tristn Stayt, 4-6, 7-5 (10-6), No. 5 Daniel Gray (Bowie, Md./The Bullis School) edged Dillon Segur, 0-6, 6-4, (11-9) and No. 6 Kamal Patel (Germantown, Md./Seneca Valley) won over Wayne Harrell, 6-4, 4-6 (10-5).
"The three freshmen had another strong showing today which bodes well for our future," Hubbard said.
UMBC travels to South Carolina this weekend for matches vs. South Carolina-Upstate and Longwood.