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Women's Tennis Finishes First Day at Martha Thorn Invite

October 31, 2014
|  Morgantown, W.Va.
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In its first trip to the Martha Thorn Invite, the Liberty Lady Flames tennis squad posted an even 5-5 record on the day.

For the team's final tournament of the fall, the Lady Flames are competing in a hidden duel format, where teams face opponents for the entirety of that particular round. Today Liberty squared off against host West Virginia, as well as, James Madison.

Competing in two doubles competitions, the Liberty squad finished with an even 1-1 record. Mariely Hassey and Belen Rivera notched the opening win for the Lady Flames, defeating James Madison's Rachel Nelson and Cara Wirth, 8-3.

During the first day of competition, the Lady Flames finished 3-1 against host West Virginia, while recording a 1-3 record against James Madison in singles play.

Rivera notched the first Liberty singles win of the tournament on Friday afternoon, defeating the Mountaineers' Kaja Mrgole in three sets. Rivera fell behind after the first set, losing 6-3, but bounced back to win the next two sets 6-1, 10-3.

Hassey followed with a straight-set victory over West Virginia's Lyn Yuen Choo 7-6 (4), 6-4 improving the Lady Flames' single record to 2-0 on the day.

Maria Khval clinched a winning record against the Mountaineers for her team after Emily Groeneveld fell in a tough straight sets loss to Carolina Lewis 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Khval upended Habiba Shaker handily in two sets, 6-4, 6-0. Following her series clinching victory against West Virginia, Khval notched the lone Liberty win against in-state rival James Madison. Khval fell in the first set 3-6 but recovered to sweep the next two sets with ease, 6-1, 10-4, over Kimmy Herrock.

"We had a lot of close matches today, which will certainly help us for the future," commented Liberty Lady Flames Head Coach Jeff Maren. "We are experimenting with different lineups, and the girls responded well to the level of their opponents."

The Lady Flames conclude their fall competition tomorrow, squaring off against Akron and Duquesne at the Ridgeview Racquet Club as part of the Martha Thorn Invite.