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Lady Flames Roll Past Morehead State in Season Opener

January 18, 2014
|  White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
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Nicola Wellman notched wins in both singles and doubles play against Morehead State on Saturday morning.

The Liberty women's tennis team opened the 2014 season on a strong note, racing past the Morehead State Eagles, 6-1, on Saturday morning at the Greenbriar Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

The Lady Flames record their first season-opening win since the 2010 campaign and improve to 4-10 all-time in season openers. The Eagles drop to 0-1 on the young season.

Liberty, which posted a strong 35-28 overall doubles record last year, continued that trend by capturing the match's doubles point after collecting wins in the No. 1 and No. 3 positions.

The Lady Flames' Nicola Wellman and Belen Rivera began the day with a 6-2 victory against Sandrine Beaule and Lissa Pacheco-Brousseau in the No. 3 spot. The Eagles responded with a victory in the No. 2 position, as Andrea LeBlanc and Hayley Wild downed Valerie Thong and Brittany Yang, 6-4. The No. 1 team of Rebekah Jenkins and Maria Khval secured the doubles tally for Liberty by doubling up Briar Preston and Dominique McLean, 6-3. The victory moved Jenkins into fourth place on the program's career doubles wins list with 49.

Liberty quickly extended its lead to 3-0 after dominating wins in the No. 5 and No. 4 singles positions. Wellman breezed through a 6-0, 6-0 straight-set victory over Pacheco-Brousseau, before Rivera ousted Beaule, 6-2, 6-0.

The Eagles lone point of the match came when Preston knocked off Jenkins in the No. 1 spot, 6-4, 6-1.

Freshman Mariely Hassey clinched the win for the Lady Flames with a straight-set victory at No. 3 versus McLean, 7-6 (4), 6-0.

The match concluded with Liberty wins in the No. 2 and No. 6 positions. Khval downed LeBlanc by identical 6-4, 6-4 scores, while Yang notched the Lady Flames' fifth straight-set victory with a 6-1, 6-3 ousting of Wild.

Liberty returns to action later this afternoon against North Carolina Central at 4 p.m.

Liberty 6, Morehead State 1
DOUBLES
1. Jenkins/Khval (LU) def. Preston/McLean (MOR), 6-3
2. LeBlanc/Wild (MOR) def. Thong/Yang (LU), 6-4
3. Wellman/Rivera (LU) def. Beaule/Pacheco-Brousseau (MOR), 6-2

SINGLES
1. Preston (MOR) def. Jenkins (LU), 6-4, 6-1
2. Khval (LU) def. LeBlanc (MOR), 6-4, 6-4
3. Hassey (LU) def. McLean (MOR), 7-6 (4), 6-0
4. Rivera (LU) def. Beaule (MOR), 6-2, 6-0
5. Wellman (LU) def. Pacheco-Brousseau (MOR), 6-0, 6-0
6. Yang (LU) def. Wild (MOR), 6-1, 6-3