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Lady Flames to Face a Pair of Big South Foes This Weekend
The Liberty Lady Flames tennis team takes its 3-1 Big South conference record on the road this weekend to face Winthrop on Friday at 1 p.m., before traveling to challenge Gardner-Webb on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
The Lady Flames had their four-match winning streak snapped on Tuesday at home versus No. 72 East Carolina. The Pirates' narrow 4-3 victory dropped Liberty's overall record to 6-6 on the year. The Lady Flames are 3-2 on the road this season, including three consecutive wins.
Nicola Wellman paces Liberty with a 7-3 mark in singles play this season, with five of those victories coming in the No. 5 position. Rebekah Jenkins is second on the squad with six singles tallies, while freshman Valerie Thong is third with five victories. Annisha Domenech has won each of her last three matches, including a win on Tuesday against East Carolina's Abby Richmond, 7-5, 6-1. The Lady Flames are 30-33 as a team this season in singles tilts.
In doubles play, Liberty is 21-13 overall. After beginning the season 1-2, the Lady Flames' combination of Jessie Boda and Brittany Yang has won eight consecutive doubles matches and holds an overall mark of 9-2. Thong and Cameron Richard are second on the team with a 7-2 doubles record in the No. 3 position.
Five-time defending champion Winthrop holds an overall season record of 5-8 (1-0 Big South), with seven of its eight losses coming against nationally ranked opponents. A pair of Eagles, Alice Garcia and Giovanna Portioli, have eight singles wins, which leads the team. No. 1 singles player, Yasmine Alkema, is 6-6 on the season.
Garcia and Portioli pace Winthrop with seven doubles victories, all of which came in the No. 2 spot. Caitlin Cridland and Ekin Gunaysu are second on the team with five doubles tallies. The Eagles are an even 39-39 as a team in singles matches and 16-22 in doubles contests.
Saturday's match will be the 11th meeting all-time between Liberty and Gardner-Webb, with the Lady Flames winning six of the previous 10 matches. The Runnin' Bulldogs are 5-7 (1-0 Big South) overall, after winning their last match yesterday versus UNC Asheville.
Erica White, playing in the No. 1 position, leads Gardner-Webb with nine singles wins this season. Yasmin Doost has six singles victories, while three players have five wins apiece. The Runnin' Bulldogs are 30-39 as a team in singles contests this year. Gardner-Webb's No. 1 tandem of Jenny Lunde and Erica White is a team-best 8-2 in doubles play. The team as a whole has 12 doubles victories, compared to 20 losses.
Following Saturday's match, Liberty returns to Lynchburg to face Radford on March 27 at 2 p.m., before hosting Presbyterian College the following day at the same time.