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Lady Flames Fall at Home to Marshall, 6-1
The Liberty women's tennis team saw its four-match winning streak come to an end on Saturday, as the visiting Marshall Thundering Herd defeated the Lady Flames 6-1 at the Hershey Tennis Courts.
The loss drops Liberty to 10-8 (6-2 Big South) on the season, with two matches remaining. Marshall evens its record at 10-10 overall for the year.
In doubles play, Liberty's Cameron Richard and Valerie Thong doubled up Dana Oppinger and Kai Broomfield, 8-4, for their 11th win of the season. However, Marshall took the doubles tally with wins in the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. Dominika Zaprazna and Kara Kucin defeated the Lady Flames' Rebekah Jenkins and Nicola Wellman, 8-1, before Ellie Ball and Maria Voscekova downed Jessie Boda and Brittany Yang, 8-4.
Thong tallied Liberty's lone point of the afternoon with a straight-set win in the No. 4 singles position against Broomfield, 6-2, 6-0. It was Thong's fifth consecutive victory and 10th overall on the year.
"Once again Valerie has shown that she is very confident in both singles and doubles at this point in the season," commented Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "Coach [Giancarlo] Lemmi and I are very pleased with her consistency on the court. She is becoming someone that we can count on for a point."
The Thundering Herd collected straight-set wins in the No. 3, 5 and 6 spots. Ball downed Yang, 6-2, 6-2, while Voscekova dealt Wellman her first singles loss in five matches, 6-1, 6-2. The clinching point of the afternoon came when Kucin ousted the Lady Flames' Annisha Domenech, 6-3, 6-0.
Jenkins and Richard both pushed their respective opponents to three sets, but fell short. Zaprazna defeated Jenkins, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, before Oppinger closed the match with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win versus Richard.
"This match was an uphill battle for us from the start," stated Maren. "Marshall is a deep team top to bottom and they are very well coached. These matches are opportunities for us to improve and I certainly saw improvement today."
Tomorrow, Liberty will wrap up its home slate against Big South leader Charleston Southern at 1 p.m., in its final conference match of the year.
Marshall 6, Liberty 1
1. Zaprazna/Kucin (MAR) def. Jenkins/Wellman (LU), 8-1
2. Ball/Voscekova (MAR) def. Boda/Yang (LU), 8-4
3. Richard/Thong (LU) def. Oppinger/Broomfield (MAR), 8-4
1. Zaprazna (MAR) def. Jenkins (LU), 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
2. Oppinger (MAR) def. Richard (LU), 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
3. Voscekova (MAR) def. Wellman (LU), 6-1, 6-2
4. Thong (LU) def. Broomfield (MAR), 6-2, 6-0
5. Ball (MAR) def. Yang (LU), 6-2, 6-2
6. Kucin (MAR) def. Domenech (LU), 6-3, 6-0