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Lady Flames Advance to Big South Semifinals

April 17, 2008
|  Rock Hill, S.C
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Stephanie Brown earned the winning point for Liberty in the opening round of the Big South tournament with a straight-set sweep in No. 5 singles.

Stephanie Brown earned the winning point for Liberty in the opening round of the Big South tournament with a straight-set sweep in No. 5 singles.

After finishing the regular season with a 4-1 conference record and capturing their highest seed for the conference tournament, the No. 2 seeded Liberty Lady Flames played its opening round match of the 2008 Big South Women's Tennis Championship Thursday against No. 7 UNC Asheville. Liberty advanced to the semifinals for the second time in program history with a convincing 4-0 sweep of the Bulldogs.

The Lady Flames struck early, taking two-straight doubles contests to earn the point. In No. 1 doubles, Liberty's all-conference tandem of Jordan Jenkins and Ekaterina Kuznetsova defeated Leslie Smith and Stephanie Schon, 8-1, to remain unbeaten on the year. The freshman combination of Stephanie Brown and Hannah Fick sealed the doubles point, topping Nicole Schon and Louise Bottomley, 8-3, in No. 2 doubles.

Liberty continued its success in singles, capturing three-straight matches to advance to the second round. Jenkins, who was named the Big South Women's Player of the Year Wednesday night, gave up only one game in No.1 singles, taking a straight set win over UNC Asheville's Leslie Smith, 6-0, 6-1. Liberty's senior captain, Martyna Hanusz, followed up with a solid performance of her own, taking No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-2. Brown capped off the Lady Flames' first ever sweep in the conference tournament, blanking UNC Asheville's No. 5 singles player in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.

Riding a program-high 12-match winning streak, the 13-3 Lady Flames will face the winner of the No. 3 and No. 6 seed match up between Coastal Carolina and Radford later this evening. Match time on Friday is slated for 1:30 p.m.


Doubles
No. 1 – .Jenkins/Kuznetsova (LU) def. Smith/S. Schon (UNCA) 8-1
No. 2 – Brown/Fick (LU) def. N. Schon/Bottomley (UNCA) 8-3
No. 3 – Abbott/Mateva (UNCA) vs. Hanusz/Gouveia (LU) 6-4 unfinished

Singles
No. 1 – Jordan Jenkins (LU) def. Leslie Smith (UNCA) 6-0, 6-1
No. 2 – Martyna Hanusz (LU def. Louise Bottomley (UNCA) 6-1, 6-2
No. 3 – Ekaterina Kuznetsova (LU) vs. Stephanie Schon (UNCA) 6-2, 1-3 unfinished
No. 4 – Hannah Fick (LU) vs. Nicole Schon (UNCA) 6-3, 0-3 unfinished
No. 5 – Stephanie Brown (LU) def. Tania Mateva (UNCA) 6-0, 6-0
No. 6 – Fabiana Gouveia (LU) vs. Whitney Abbott (UNCA) 6-3 unfinished