Off to its best start since the 2004 season, the Liberty women's tennis team opens the home portion of its schedule this weekend with a pair of matches. The Lady Flames welcome Morgan State on Friday for a 2:30 p.m. contest and challenge Campbell in its Big South opener on Saturday at 1 p.m. Friday's match will be played indoors at the Sports Racket, while Saturday's tilt will be contested at the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts.
Live stats for both matches will be available on LibertyFlames.com by clicking on the live stats links on the women's tennis schedule/results page. Saturday's contest will also be video streamed live through the Big South Network.
Liberty (4-2) bounced back from its first two losses of the season with a resounding 6-0 shutout of George Washington on Valentine's Day. After the doubles matches had to be forgoed due to court availability, the Lady Flames swept through each of the six singles tilts, winning four out of six in straight sets.
The Lady Flames look to remain unbeaten all-time against Morgan State. Last season, Liberty blanked the Bears, 4-0, at home to improve to 3-0 in the series. The Lady Flames and Campbell have faced each other six times with each team winning three contests apiece. In 2013, the Camels edged Liberty, 4-3, in Buies Creek, N.C.
Through six matches, the Lady Flames are 23-13 in singles matches and 7-6 in doubles tilts as a team. A pair of newcomers in freshman Maria Khval and sophomore transfer Belen Rivera lead the team in singles wins with five each. On Tuesday, Khval was tabbed the Crons Brand Big South Women's Tennis Freshman of the Week. Another freshman, Mariely Hassey is a perfect 4-0 in singles tilts this season. Khval and partner Rebekah Jenkins are a team-best 3-1 in doubles matches, playing in the top position.
Morgan State is seeking its first win of the season after dropping its first two matches of the season. The Bears have been shutout 7-0 by both Navy and No. 52 Virginia Tech. Both setbacks came on the road.
After dropping its first two matches of the season, Campbell has rebounded with three consecutive victories. The Camels (3-2) face North Carolina Central today before traveling to Lynchburg on Saturday. No. 1 singles player Karolina Chernaya is 4-1 on the season, while Tamara Stanic has posted a perfect 4-0 mark at the No. 4 spot. Chernaya also competes in the No. 1 doubles position and has notched a 3-0 record with partner Ana Maria Ortiz. Stanic and Natasha Afridi are tied with Chernaya and Ortiz with three doubles wins of their own. As a team, the Camels are 19-7 in singles and 8-3 in doubles matches.
Liberty continues Big South play with its first conference road match of the season at Longwood on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.
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