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Lady Flames' Comeback Falls Short
A comeback by the Liberty women's tennis team was denied, Thursday afternoon, as the Richmond Spiders claimed a 4-3 win indoors at the Sports Racket.
After trailing 3-1, Liberty gained control in one of the three remaining matches, while the other two went on to deciding third sets. However, a final change of momentum led the Spiders to the victory.
The Lady Flames fall to 0-3 to begin 2012, while Richmond starts its season 1-0 with the victory.
The afternoon began with Richmond claiming two of the doubles matches to secure the overall point. Liberty's win came in middle match, with sophomores Alexandra Sheeran and Rebekah Jenkins taking down Melissa Kandinata and Joanna Matuszczyk, 8-5.
In singles, Richmond took two of the first three completed matches, leading to a 3-1 edge for the Spiders. However, a victory for Liberty in the leadoff position gave the Lady Flames a boost in momentum.
Playing in the No. 1 slot for the first time in her career, Alexandra Sheeran claimed victory over senior Helen Cunningham in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3.
The No. 2 and No. 5 matches went to the visitors, both in straight sets. With three matches remaining, two were pushed into a third set, while Liberty senior Carol Lobel jumped out to a quick lead in her No. 6 singles match.
Freshman Brittany Yang's win in the No. 4 match against Matuszczyk pulled the Lady Flames to a 3-2 margin. After Matuszczyk claimed the first set, 6-4, Yang rallied back in the final two sets, 6-2, 6-3, for her second-consecutive singles victory.
In the No. 3 slot, Jenkins dropped the opening set, 3-6, but bounced back to level the match, 6-4 in the second. Jenkins continued the pressure in the third set, but Smyth claimed a pivotal point, which led to her eventual victory.
Meanwhile, Lobel gave the Lady Flames their final point in the No. 6 match, outhitting Nil Horoz, 6-1, 6-2.
The Lady Flames hit the road for their next match, travelling to Longwood next Thursday for a 1:30 p.m. start.
Richmond 4, Liberty 3
1. Cunningham/Smyth (UR) def. Richard/Yang (LU), 8-4
2. Sheeran/Jenkins (LU) def. Kandinata/Matuszczyk (UR), 8-5
3. Horoz/Sims (UR) def. Lobel/Wellman (LU), 8-5
1. Sheeran (LU) def. Cunningham (UR), 6-3, 6-3
2. Kandinata (UR) def. Richard (LU), 6-3, 6-3
3. Smyth (UR) def. Jenkins (LU), 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
4. Yang (LU) def. Matuszczyk (UR), 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
5. Sims (UR) def. Wellman (LU), 6-2, 6-4
6. Lobel (LU) def. Horoz (UR), 6-1, 6-2