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Two Matches Conclude Regular Season for Women's Tennis
The Liberty women's tennis team will conclude its 2012 regular-season slate this week. Thursday, the Lady Flames hit the road, taking on James Madison at 2:30 p.m. On Friday, Liberty will celebrate Senior Day with its final home match, a Big South contest with UNC Asheville at 1 p.m.
After playing to a 1-9 record through its first 10 matches, head coach Chris Johnson's squad has truly turned the season around by taking nine of its last 11 contests. The Lady Flames reeled off six straight wins from March 17 to March 30, with half the wins coming over Big South opponents. Liberty is currently 3-4 in conference play, tied for fourth place with Gardner-Webb and Radford. Coincidentally, all three programs in the fourth-place tie will conclude conference play against UNC Asheville, who is currently 0-3 against Big South opponents.
While no Lady Flame has a losing singles record in the last 10 matches, Cameron Richard, Carol Lobel and Rebekah Jenkins have led the turnaround. Richard tied her career-best win streak of seven straight matches and is 8-2 the last 10 times on the court. Lobel strung together five straight wins, as she has taken seven of her last 10 matches. Meanwhile, Jenkins has won six of her last 10.
Liberty and James Madison will meet on the tennis courts for the ninth time on Tuesday. Although the Dukes own a 5-3 advantage in the series, the Lady Flames have won three of the last four meetings. The last contest between the programs was in 2010, as last year's matchup was cancelled due to rain. The Dukes took that matchup, 5-2, at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
The Dukes are currently 9-4, having lost their latest match against UNC Wilmington, 6-1, Saturday. James Madison and Liberty both played Georgetown and Appalachian State early in the season. While Liberty dropped both contests, the Dukes took a win over Appalachian State. However, Liberty owns a 4-3 win over Radford this season, but James Madison fell to the Highlanders by the same margin.
Megan Douglass leads the Dukes in wins during the dual season, going 11-4 in positions 3-5. Katherine Bulling, Michelle Nguyen and Jacqueline Palmucci are close to meeting the 10-win mark, each with nine victories in 2012.
Kinsey Pate and Taylor Pinchoff lead the squad in doubles at No. 1, owning a 6-4 record.
In the Lady Flames' regular-season finale against UNC Asheville on Friday, the squad will celebrate Senior Day by honoring Lobel, the lone upperclassman on this year's team. The Bulldogs are currently 6-10, and have endured injuries throughout the year. Currently, freshmen fill the team's first four singles slots.
Freshman Jenna Dodge is 8-6 for UNC Asheville this season, leading the team in singles victories. Zoe Hamel has played regularly at No. 1, taking five wins on the year.
In doubles, Christin Boissevain and Emily McNall are 8-7, competing at both the No. 1 and No. 2 positions.
Live updates will be available for the Lady Flames' final home match of 2012.