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Liberty Collects Big South Road Victory Over UNC Asheville
Despite dropping the doubles point for the first time in five matches, the Liberty Lady Flames tennis team bounced back with wins in four of the six singles tilts to defeat UNC Asheville, 4-3, on Thursday afternoon.
"We beat a very good Asheville team today, because the girls fought so hard from beginning to end," stated Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "We never gave up and we put forth tremendous effort in singles after losing the doubles point."
With its fourth win in its last five matches, Liberty improves to 4-5 (3-1 Big South) on the season, while the Bulldogs fall to 6-4 (0-1 Big South) overall.
The Lady Flames' Brittany Yang and Jessie Boda tallied their team-leading seventh doubles victory of the season, downing the Bulldogs' Christin Boissevain and Emily McNall, 8-4, in the No. 2 position.
Asheville rallied to claim the doubles point, after wins in the No. 1 and No. 3 spots. Erickia Rivero and Zoe Hamel ousted Liberty's Rebekah Jenkins and Nicola Wellman, 8-4, before Cameron Richard and Valerie Thong fell to Gillian Lewis and Amryn Soldier, 8-6.
The Lady Flames evened up the score at one point apiece with a victory by Jenkins in the No. 2 singles position. The Liberty junior only dropped one game en route to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over McNall.
In the No. 3 spot, Rivero put UNC Asheville back on top with a 6-4, 6-3 win against Yang.
The Lady Flames rallied, taking the contest's next three matches to earn the victory. Richard knocked off Hamel in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3 in the No. 1 position. Wellman improved to 4-0 in Big South singles matches this season, after coming back from a one-set deficit to defeat Soldier, 0-6, 6-2, 6-1. Thong clinched the road victory for the Lady Flames, beating Boissevain in a hard-fought, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4, win in the No. 5 spot.
"My match was very tough and mentally draining," commented Thong. "It was such a close match and there were multiple times when I could have lost. I was off my game, but I was able to win the match for my team. During the third set changeover I told coach I was going to win and when I heard Nicola encouraging me, I knew we were close. I had no other option but to win."
With the match already decided, Lewis ousted Liberty's Annisha Domenech in three sets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4.
The Lady Flames return to action on Saturday with a road contest at Lipscomb. Match time against the Bison is slated for 11 a.m.
Liberty 4, UNC Asheville 3
1. Rivero/Hamel (UNCA) def. Jenkins/Wellman (LU), 8-4
2. Boda/Yang (LU) def. Boissevain/McNall (UNCA), 8-4
3. Lewis/Soldier (UNCA) def. Thong/Richard (LU), 8-6
1. Richard (LU) def. Hamel (UNCA), 6-2, 6-3
2. Jenkins (LU) def. McNall (UNCA), 6-1, 6-0
3. Rivero (UNCA) def. Yang (LU), 6-4, 6-3
4. Wellman (LU) def. Soldier (UNCA), 0-6, 6-2, 6-1
5. Thong (LU) def. Boissevain (UNCA), 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
6. Lewis (UNCA) def. Domenech (LU), 1-6, 6-4, 6-4