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Lady Flames Cruise Past Wofford in Season Opener

January 16, 2015
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Liberty women's tennis team opened the 2015 season with a strong performance, defeating the Wofford Terriers, 6-1, on Friday evening at the Sports Racket in Lynchburg.

The Lady Flames recorded their second consecutive season-opening victory, improving to 5-10 all-time in season openers. The Terriers fall to 0-1 on the season.

Liberty, which posted a strong 37-25 overall doubles record last year, picked up where they left off, collecting the match's doubles point by securing wins in the No. 1 and No. 2 spot.

The Lady Flames' Valerie Thong and Evangeline Crist began Liberty's spring season with a 6-1 doubles victory over Catherine Martin and Mareli Sanchez in the No. 2 spot. Transfer sophomore Emily Groeneveld paired up with Maria Khval to clinch the doubles point from the No. 1 spot, upending Kalli Karas and Lauren Reid, 6-3. Mariely Hassey and Nicola Wellman fought hard in the No. 3 doubles slot, falling short 7-5 against Taylor Carlson and Samantha Russell.

Groeneveld made her presence felt early for the Lady Flames, quickly extending the Liberty lead to 2-0 after defeating Karas in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Senior Brittany Yang notched a victory from the No. 4 spot, defeating Reid, 6-3, 6-2, to push the Lady Flames lead to 3-0.

For the second straight year, Hassey delivered the season-opener match-clinching performance from the No. 2 spot with a straight set victory, 6-1, 7-6 (3) over Audrey Coventry.

Belen Rivera competed in the No. 1 spot for the Lady Flames, winning in two hard fought sets, 6-2, 7-6 (3) to extend the Liberty lead to 5-0.

The Terriers lone point in singles play came when Russell defeated Lauren Mabe in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 5 spot.

The match concluded with Liberty's freshman Evangeline Crist winning her first spring collegiate match in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2 from the No. 6 spot.

The Lady Flames return to action Sunday against North Carolina Central at the Sports Racket. The match is slated to begin at noon.

Liberty 6, Wofford 1

Doubles

  1. Groeneveld/Khval (LU) def. Karas/Reid (Wof), 6-3
  2. Crist/Thong (LU) def. Martin/Sanchez (Wof), 6-1
  3. Carlson/Russell (Wof) def. Hassey/Wellman (LU), 7-5

Singles

  1. Rivera (LU) def. Martin (Wof), 6-2, 7-6 (3)
  2. Hassey (LU) def. Coventry (Wof), 6-1, 7-6 (3)
  3. Groeneveld (LU) def. Karas (Wof), 6-2, 6-2
  4. Yang (LU) def. Reid (Wof), 6-3, 6-2
  5. Russell (Wof) def. Mabe (LU), 6-4, 6-1
  6. Crist (LU) def. Sanchez (Wof), 6-2, 6-2