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Lady Flames to Launch 2011 Season
The Liberty women's tennis team begins its 2011 season this weekend, facing Appalachian State on Saturday and West Virginia on Sunday. The Lady Flames open their campaign at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., with matches slated to begin at 5 p.m. and 9 a.m.
After a successful fall season, the Lady Flames enter the season with senior leadership and a strong base of underclassmen.
Jordan Jenkins looks to lead the way for the team during her senior season and begins the year ranked No. 20 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's Women's Atlantic Region. The Sarasota, Fla., native has been named to the Big South all-conference singles and doubles teams each of her three years as a Lady Flame.
After enduring injuries during the 2010 season, fellow senior Hannah Fick will look to return to her 2009 form, when she joined Jenkins as an all-conference singles and doubles honoree.
Head Coach Chris Johnson's class of freshman kicked off their careers well this fall, with each new Lady Flame earning a tournament title. Three-time Alabama state champion Cameron Richard competed in the upper-level draws throughout the fall and earned her first collegiate title in the A2 flight of the Elon Fall Invitational (Oct. 8-10).
In their opening match, the Lady Flames will face Appalachian State for the fourth time in program history. The Mountaineers hold the 2-1 edge in the series, but Liberty notched the win in their last match, winning 6-1 on Feb. 20, 2009.
Last season, Appalachian State posted a 9-13 record with a 2-8 mark in the Southern Conference. The Mountaineers return Ellie Linsell and Jennifer Ansari this season, who combined for a 25-19 record last season playing in the number one and two spots in the lineup.
In fall tournament action, Liberty and Appalachian State players met on nine occasions in singles play. The Lady Flames took six of those matches, including Jordan Jenkins defeating Linsell, 7-5, 6-2, at the Radford Fall Tournament (Sept. 25).
The Lady Flames match with West Virginia will be the third between the programs. West Virginia has taken both of the previous contests including a 5-2 win last year, which also took place at the Greenbrier Resort.
West Virginia is coming of a 17-7 season in 2010, including a 7-3 mark in Big East competition. Their 17 wins were the most for the program since 2004 and included a nine-match win streak.
With a few contests under its belt, West Virginia is 1-2 and will face James Madison on Saturday in White Sulphur Springs before matching up with the Lady Flames on Sunday morning.