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Liberty Downed by Richmond in Regular-Season Finale
In their last match before the Big South Conference Championship, the Liberty Lady Flames lost on the road to the Richmond Spiders, 7-0, on Tuesday afternoon at the Westhampton Tennis Complex.
Liberty concludes the 2013 regular season with an even 10-10 (6-3 Big South) overall record. The victory improves Richmond to 8-11 on the year.
The Spiders swept the doubles matches, as the Lady Flames failed to win at least one doubles contest for the first time this season. Rebekah Jenkins and Nicola Wellman nearly pulled out a win in the No. 1 position, but Melissa Kandinata and Katya Salas edged the Lady Flames' duo, 8-7 (8-6). In the No. 2 spot, Cameron Richard and Valerie Thong fell to the Spiders' Elizabeth Sims and Alexandra Smyth, 8-2, before Anna Abadias Morales and Emily Gitman ousted Liberty's Jessie Boda and Brittany Yang, 8-5.
Richmond captured straight-set wins in the first four singles positions. Sims opened with a 6-0, 7-5 win against Richard, 6-0, 7-5. Wellman lost to Abadias Morales, 6-2, 6-2, before Kandinata clinched the match for the Spiders with a 6-4, 6-1 ousting of Jenkins, 6-4, 6-1. In the No. 4 spot, Thong was edged by Salas, 7-6, 7-5.
Making her first start in the No. 5 position, Liberty's Annisha Domenech dropped the first set to Smyth, 6-2, before rebounding to win the second, 6-3. The Lady Flames' sophomore lost the tie breaker in the third set, 10-5. Boda received just her third starting nod of the season and was narrowly defeated by Gitman at No. 6, 7-6, 6-7, 1-0 (10-4).
After the match, Liberty head coach Jeff Maren commented, "Today we played a team that was on its game and simply outplayed us top to bottom. We've played three good teams in four days and I believe it has toughened us to perform at our best during the conference tournament next week."
The Lady Flames will now begin to make preparations for the Big South Championship, which opens on April 17 in Rock Hill, S.C. Seedings and match times will be released at a later date.
Richmond 7, Liberty 0
1. Kandinata/Salas (RICH) def. Jenkins/Wellman (LU), 8-7 (8-6)
2. Sims/Smyth (RICH) def. Richard/Thong (LU), 8-3
3. Abadias Morales/Gitman (RICH) def. Boda/Yang (LU) 8-5
1. Kandinata (RICH) def. Jenkins (LU), 6-4, 6-1
2. Sims (RICH) def. Richard (LU), 6-0, 7-5
3. Abadias Morales (RICH) def. Wellman (LU), 6-2, 6-2
4. Salas (RICH) def. Thong (LU), 7-6, 7-5
5. Smyth (RICH) def. Domenech (LU), 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-5)
6. Gitman (RICH) def. Boda (LU) def. 7-6, 6-7, 1-0 (10-4)