COLUMBIA, South Carolina— The LSU men’s tennis team improved to 3-1 on the season after defeating Liberty, 4-3, in the ITA Kickoff Weekend consolation finals Sunday afternoon at the Carolina Tennis Facility.
Doubles came down to two tiebreakers on courts one and three, but both went Liberty’s way, clinching the doubles point. Liberty got off to a quick start on court two after Nicaise Muamba/Rafael Marques Da Silva defeated LSU’s Boris Kozlov/Kent Hunter, 6-4.
On courts one and three, both matches were back-and-forth until each had to be decided by a tiebreaker. Both Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire on court one and Ben Koch/Nick Watson on court three dropped the tiebreak, giving Liberty the doubles point.
In singles, LSU would need four of the six courts to go their way for the victory. Kent Hunter got LSU on the board first with a 6-2, 6-4 victory on court two.
Gabriel Diaz Freire put the Tigers ahead with a 6-2, 6-4 victory and Benjamin Ambrosio put the Tigers within one point of the win with a 7-6, 6-3 victory on court six. Liberty made it 3-2 after Christiaan Worst defeated Boris Kozlov, 6-4, 6-2. The Flames did not make it easy on the Tigers, as they made it 3-2 after Christiaan Worst took down Boris Kozlov, 6-4, 6-2. They tied it up after Nicaise Muamba defeated Vlad Lobak, 7-6, 6-2.
With the match tied at three, all eyes were on court three with LSU’s Joao Graca against Liberty’s Rafael Marques Da Silva. Graca dropped the first set, 3-6, but came back to knot it up in the second set, 6-4. The third set was back-and-forth until the two were tied at four, but Graca put the match away, winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.
This marks LSU’s first win at ITA Kickoff Weekend since the 2017 season when they defeated USF in the first round, 4-3.
The Tigers next match is against in-state rival Tulane in New Orleans
LSU 4, Liberty 3
- Nicaise Muamba (LIB) def. Vlad Lobak (LSU) 7-6, 6-2
- Kent Hunter (LSU) def. Josh Wilson (LIB) 6-2, 6-4
- Joao Graca (LSU) def. Rafael Marques Da Silva (LIB) 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
- Christiaan Worst (LIB) def. Boris Kozlov (LSU) 6-4, 6-2
- Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) def. Deji Thomas-Smith (LIB) 6-2, 6-4
- Benjamin Ambrosio (LSU) def. Thando Longwe-Smit (LIB) 7-6, 6-3
- Deji Thomas-Smith/Christiaan Worst (LIB) def. #45 Vlad Lobak/Gabriel Diaz Freire (LSU) 6-6 (unfinished)
- Nicaise Muamba/Rafael Marques Da Silva (LIB) def. Kent Hunter/Boris Kozlov (LSU) def. 6-3
- Goncaol Ferreira/Josh Wilson (LIB) def. Nick Watson/Ben Koch (LSU) def. 7-6