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Lady Flames Slip Past Gardner-Webb, 4-3
The Liberty Lady Flames tennis team concluded its weekend road trip with a 4-3 victory over Big South conference opponent Gardner-Webb on Saturday afternoon at the Webb Tennis Complex.
The win evens up Liberty's overall record at 7-7 and pushes them to 4-2 in Big South matches. Gardner-Webb falls to 5-8 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.
"Our girls were very brave and fought to the end," commented Liberty assistant coach Giancarlo Lemmi. "Their team came ready to play, but our girls showed great resilience and focus in order to bring home the win. This win takes us one step closer to our goal of peaking during the conference championship."
With Gardner-Webb competing with only five players, Liberty was afforded a win by default in the No. 3 doubles position and the No. 6 singles spot.
After Rebekah Jenkins and Nicola Wellman fell to the Runnin' Bulldogs' Jenny Lunde and Erica White, 8-3, Liberty clinched the doubles tally with a win in the No. 2 position. Jessie Boda and Brittany Yang defeated Yasmin Doost and Rokia Sacko, 8-3, for their team-best 10th doubles victory of the season.
Gardner-Webb rallied to tie the match at two apiece with wins in the first two singles contests. White ousted Jenkins, 6-2, 6-4, before Doost downed Cameron Richard, 7-5, 6-2.
Wellman improved her team-best singles mark to 8-4 with a straight set win versus Gardner-Webb's Lunde, 6-2, 6-3, in the No. 3 position. In the clinching match, the Lady Flames' Valerie Thong went three sets against Sacko, before claiming the victory. Thong took the first set 6-1, before dropping the second frame 5-7. The Liberty freshman closed out the match with a 6-3 score in the third set to claim her sixth singles win of the year.
With the match already clinched, the Runnin' Bulldogs Valeriia Popko defeated Yang, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, in the No. 4 position.
The Lady Flames return to Lynchburg for a pair of mid-week contests, beginning on Wednesday against Radford at 2 p.m. On Thursday, Liberty welcomes Presbyterian College to the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts for a 2 p.m. match.
Liberty 4, Gardner-Webb 3
1. White/Lunde (GWU) def. Jenkins/Wellman (LU), 8-3
2. Boda/Yang (LU) def. Doost/Sacko (GWU), 8-3
3. Richard/Thong (LU) won by default
1. White (GWU) def. Jenkins (LU), 6-2, 6-4
2. Doost (GWU) def. Richard (LU), 7-5, 6-2
3. Wellman (LU) def. Lunde (GWU), 6-2, 6-3
4. Popko (GWU) def. Yang (LU) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4
5. Thong (LU) def. Sacko (GWU), 6-1, 5-7, 6-3
6. Domenech (LU) won by default