WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The William and Mary men’s tennis team continued its winning ways, picking up its fourth straight victory on Thursday night over in-state foe Liberty, 5-2, at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. W&M took the doubles point, before winning three straight singles matches, including the clinching match from junior Will Juggins at the No. 3 position. The Tribe improved to 6-5 on the year, while Liberty dropped its first match of the season in falling to 2-1.
The Green and Gold took the doubles point to jump out to an early lead. The senior duo of John Banks and Ben Hoogland staked the Tribe to the advantage with their third straight win, downing Egon Samaai and Carson Greve, 6-2, at the No. 3 position. The Tribe pair improved to 13-12 overall and 6-4 in dual-match play. It also marked the 50th doubles victory in Hoogland's career.
Senior Ben Guthrie and freshman Damon Niquet clinched the point with a 6-2 win at the No. 2 post over Alejandro Llamas and Stan Vaughan. The Tribe duo won its third straight improving to 8-3 overall and 3-1 at the No. 2 position. Juniors Aaron Chaffee and Will Juggins nearly pulled off an upset of the No. 26-ranked team in the country at No. 1 before their match was abandoned with the doubles point decided. The Tribe tandem was serving for the match up 5-4 over Shea Thomas and Jorge Azuero, who won the ITA Atlantic Region Doubles Champion and advanced to the quarterfinals of the ITA National Indoor Championship during the fall.
After Liberty evened the match with a victory at the top singles position, the Tribe responded with three straight triumphs to clinch the victory. Niquet notched his team-leading 14th win of the season, dropping just one game in a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Vaughan at the No. 5 post to put the Tribe back on top. It marked his third straight win as he upped his dual-match ledger to 7-2, including a spotless 5-0 mark at No. 5.
Banks quickly followed with his fifth straight win at the No. 6 slot. He downed Carson Greve, 6-2, 6-1, for his 11th victory of the season in improving to 7-3 in dual-match competition.
Juggins clinched the Tribe’s fourth straight win with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Llamas at No. 3. The W&M junior won his fourth straight and for the fifth time in his last six matches. He upped his singles win total to nine, while improving to 5-4 in dual-match competition.
Liberty picked up its second singles win at No. 4, before Hoogland rounded out the Tribe victory with a win at No. 2. The Tribe senior won his third straight match at the second spot, upending Jorge Azuero, 6-3, 6-5 (5). It marked his ninth win overall on the year and bumped his dual-match ledger to 5-4.
The Tribe returns to action with a trio of home matches next weekend at the McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center. The Green and Gold welcomes defending America East Champion Binghamton to Williamsburg on Friday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. W&M hosts a Sunday, Feb. 15, doubleheader against in-state foe Richmond and BIG EAST counterpart Villanova. The Tribe meets the Spiders at 10 a.m., before squaring off with the Wildcats at 5 p.m. Live stats for each match will be available at TribeAthletics.com.
William and Mary 5, Liberty 2
No. 1 – Shea Thomas (Liberty) def. Ben Guthrie (W&M) – 6-3, 6-0
No. 2 – Ben Hoogland (W&M) def. Jorge Azuero (Liberty) – 6-3, 6-5 (5)
No. 3 – Will Juggins (W&M) def. Alejandro Llamas (Liberty) – 6-1, 6-1
No. 4 – Egon Samaai (Liberty) def. Addison Appleby (W&M) – 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 – Damon Niquet (W&M) def. Stan Vaughan (Liberty) – 6-0, 6-1
No. 6 – John Banks (W&M) def. Carson Greve (Liberty) – 6-2, 6-1
Finishing Order: 1, 5, 6, 3*, 4, 2
No. 1 – Chaffee/Juggins (W&M) vs. #26 Thomas/Azuero (Liberty) – DNF, 5-4
No. 2 – Guthrie/Niquet (W&M) def. Vaughan/Llamas (Liberty) – 6-2
No. 3 – Banks/Hoogland (W&M) def. Samaii/Greve (Liberty) – 6-2
Finishing Order: 3, 2*