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Lady Flames Travel to Face West Virginia on Saturday

January 24, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Sophomore Belen Rivera enters Saturday's match against West Virginia 2-0 in singles matches and 1-0 in doubles contests this season.

Off to its first 2-0 start since the 2007 season, the Liberty Lady Flames tennis squad heads to Charleston, W.Va. on Saturday to challenge Big 12 foe West Virginia. The match is slated to begin at 3 p.m. at the Charleston Indoor Racquet Club. A win against the Mountaineers will give Liberty its first 3-0 start in program history.

Saturday's tilt will be the fourth meeting all-time between Liberty and West Virginia. The Mountaineers hold a 2-1 series advantage, with the Lady Flames claiming a 5-2 victory in the most recent meeting during the 2011 season. West Virginia is the first of three consecutive opponents Liberty will face from the Big 12. 

Liberty collected a pair of victories this past Saturday at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. The Lady Flames downed Morehead State, 6-1, before capping the day with another 6-1 final score against North Carolina Central.

Freshmen Maria Khval and Mariely Hassey, along with sophomore Belen Rivera, each collected a pair of singles wins on Saturday for Liberty. Hassey's effort earned her the Big South's Freshman of the Week award. Overall, the Lady Flames went 10-2 in singles matches for the day. In doubles contests, Liberty captured both doubles points on Saturday, with the No. 1 pair of Khval and Rebekah Jenkins posting a perfect 2-0 mark. The Lady Flames recorded a 5-1 mark as a team in doubles tilts in its first two matches.

West Virginia enters its match with Liberty 0-1 after falling in its season opener to Akron, 4-3. The Mountaineers are a young team, with no seniors on the squad and six of their seven players either freshmen or sophomores. Kaja Mrgole, Oana Manole and Vivian Tsui each captured a singles victory, while Mrgole and Manole teamed up for West Virginia's lone doubles win against the Zips.

Following Saturday's match, the Lady Flames head to the Midwest for a pair of contests. Liberty challenges No. 55 Kansas State on Feb. 1, before squaring off against Kansas on Feb. 2.