Feb 3, 2009

Women's tennis grinds out win over JMU

by Daniel Heffner

The women’s tennis team faced off against James Madison University on Saturday at Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., marking its first contest of the 2009 season.

After being picked to finish second in the pre-season Big South coaches poll, the bar is set high for this Lady Flames squad.

“The collective goal for the team this year is to win the Big South, and in order to do that we have to be in optimal shape,” sophomore Jordan Jenkins said. “The girls are playing well, and it’s impressive.”

Jenkins, who serves as the team captain, won both her doubles match and singles match this weekend. In the rest of the doubles action, however, the team did not fare as well. The team of Jenkins and Hannah Fick won 8-6, but Lais Souza and Stephanie Brown and Natalie Solomon and Fabiana Gouveia both lost very close matches of 9-8 and 8-6, respectively.

The singles play was a different story, however, with the team winning four out of six matches to wrap up the victory. In addition to Jenkins’ win (6-2, 7-5), Brown won in three sets (6-4, 2-6, 6-4) and freshman Souza took home a victory (6-2, 6-2).

Sophomore Nadia Solomon captured another singles win for the Lady Flames (6-3, 6-2), while Hannah Fick lost in three sets 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and freshman Katie Ladderer also lost 7-5, 6-4.

The final score of this tough match was 4-3 in favor of Liberty, marking its first win of the young season.

“We played close at all six positions after losing a close doubles point. With the amount of effort given by the entire team, it was no surprise to me that we won four of six singles matches to close it out for the win,” Head Coach Chris Johnson said. “I am happy to see both of our teams play well this weekend. We continue to improve and we are working very hard to bring home a championship this year.”

The men’s team, which Johnson also coaches, posted a solid win against George Mason University, 6-1, on Saturday. Junior Clay Cypert and freshman Giancarlo Lemmi started things off by winning their doubles match over Brian Fitzgerald and Dan Schneider, 8-4.

Junior Chad Simpson and Gregorio Machado took home doubles win. Simpson posted a singles victory, defeating Jordan Lipstock 6-0, 6-2. Cypert and Captain Louis Steyn picked up singles victories in the win.
The Lady Flames face Davidson College on Feb. 7, while the men take on Lynchburg College on the same day.

Contact Daniel Heffner at

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