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Lady Flames Downed at Home by No. 63 Winthrop, 6-1
The Liberty women's tennis team dropped its first home match of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling to No. 63 Winthrop, 6-1, at the Hershey Tennis Courts.
The Lady Flames' record drops to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in Big South matches. Liberty remains winless all-time versus Winthrop and sees its home record fall to 3-1 on the season. The Eagles up their overall record to 9-3 and stay unbeaten in conference matches at 3-0.
Winthrop escaped with the doubles point to jump out to a 1-0 advantage to open the contest. After Liberty's Brittany Yang and Belen Rivera fell at No. 2, the Lady Flames bounced back with a win in the No. 3 position. Cameron Richard and Valerie Thong defeated Tijana Uzelac and Beth Williamson, 8-5. In a tight match at No. 1, the Eagles' Alice and Andressa Garcia edged Rebekah Jenkins and Maria Khval, 8-7, to clinch the point for the visitors.
The Eagles tallied the first three points in singles play to seal the match and go up 4-0. Andressa Garcia knocked off Rebekah Jenkins, 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 1 position and was followed by a victory from Alice Garcia over Yang, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 2. Cridland registered the clinching point by defeating Khval in the No. 3 spot, 6-1, 6-0.
At No. 5, Nicola Wellman put the Lady Flames on the scoreboard with her fourth consecutive singles win. The junior defeated Ekin Gunaysu, 6-3, 6-2, improving her record to a team-best 10-4 on the season.
Winthrop closed out the match with a pair of come-from-behind wins in the No. 4 and No. 6 positions. Uzelac knocked off Rivera, 0-6, 6-3, 6-2, while Monica Aguado ousted Mariely Hassey, 3-6, 6-3, 14-12.
"Winthrop outplayed us today," stated Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "They are a good team and showed us how we are to compete in order to have a shot at performing well in the conference tournament. We learned a lot about ourselves and our opponents and are excited to get back to practice this week."
Liberty remains at home for its next match, hosting UNC Asheville on Friday at 1 p.m.
No. 63 Winthrop 6, Liberty 1
1. Alice Garcia/Andressa Garcia (WU) def. Rebekah Jenkins/Maria Khval (LU), 8-7
2. Ekin Gunaysu/Caitlin Cridland (WU) def. Brittany Yang/Belen Rivera (LU), 8-4
3. Cameron Richard/Valerie Thong (LU) def. Tijana Uzelac/Beth Williamson (WU), 8-5
1. Andressa Garcia (WU) def. Rebekah Jenkins (LU), 6-3, 6-1
2. Alice Garcia (WU) def. Brittany Yang (LU), 6-1, 6-2
3. Caitlin Cridland (WU) def. Maria Khval, 6-1, 6-0
4. Tijana Uzelac (WU) def. Belen Rivera (LU), 0-6, 6-3, 6-2
5. Nicola Wellman (LU) def. Ekin Gunaysu (WU), 6-3, 6-2
6. Monica Aguado (WU) def. Mariely Hassey (LU), 3-6, 6-3, 14-12