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Lady Flames Fall in Home Opener to Charlotte

February 9, 2013
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Rebekah Jenkins

Seeking its first win of the 2013 season, the Liberty Lady Flames tennis team hosted the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday afternoon at the Sports Racket. After collecting the doubles point and splitting the first four singles matches, the 49ers sealed the 4-2 victory over the Lady Flames with a win in the fifth singles match of the day.

"The whole team brought a tremendous level of energy and effort today," stated Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "Unfortunately Charlotte was a little better than us when it came to shot selection and handling pressure points. Rebekah played 'lights out' in both singles and doubles and Brittany continued her solid play for the second match in a row."

With the loss, Liberty falls to 0-2 overall on the young season, while Charlotte improves to 3-1 in dual matches on the year.

The Lady Flames started the afternoon with a doubles win from Cameron Richard and Valerie Thong in the No. 3 position. The Liberty tandem outplayed Tyler Baker and Jessica Perez en route to the 8-2 win.

Charlotte bounced back with wins in the remaining two doubles matches. Anna Ekelund and Lisa Grosselius outlasted Liberty's Rebekah Jenkins and Alexandra Sheeran, 8-4, while Alexandra Zinn and Natsuko Takayanagi downed the Lady Flames' Brittany Yang and Jessie Boda by the same score.

Charlotte tallied wins in both the No. 1 and No. 2 singles positions, but Liberty answered right back with victories in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots.

In the No. 1 position, Zinn and Richard went back and forth in a hard fought match, with the 49ers senior claiming a 6-4 win in the first set and a 7-6 (0-5) victory in set number two to claim the victory.  Sheeran then fell to Takayanagi in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 2 position.

Liberty would not go quietly as Jenkins and Yang were able to collect Liberty's two points on the afternoon with wins in the No. 3 and No. 4 singles positions.

It took three sets, but Jenkins was able to pull out the victory against Grosselius, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, while Yang continued Liberty's comeback push with a 6-2, 6-4 triumph over Baker.

Charlotte responded with a win in the No. 5 singles match to secure the 4-2 victory. Ekelund survived a tough second set with Thong and claimed the 6-2, 7-5 win over the Liberty freshman. Boda's match with Guneva in the No. 6 spot was recorded as a DNF.

Next up, Liberty will make the short trek over to Blacksburg, Va. to face the Virginia Tech Hokies tomorrow, beginning at 4 p.m.