Nicola Wellman notched her eighth singles win of the season on Saturday against North Texas.
The Liberty women's tennis team closed a difficult road trip through the Lone Star state with a 5-1 setback at the rackets of No. 67 North Texas on Saturday morning at the Waranch Tennis Complex.
The Lady Flames lose their fifth consecutive match to fall to 7-7 overall. Three of the five losses have come against ranked opponents. North Texas improves its record to 6-8 for the season.
"We came out a little flat today," commented Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "You can't do that against a good team like North Texas. However, we played a little better in the end and definitely benefited from playing against strong competition this past week. I am sure that we'll have inspired practices this week in anticipation for our upcoming conference matches."
With the doubles matches canceled due to weather, the contest opened with singles play.
The Mean Green opened the match with a quartet of straight-set victories in the top-four positions. Agustina Valenzuela dispatched Liberty's Cameron Richard, 6-0, 6-0, at No. 4, before Kseniya Bardabush followed with a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of the Lady Flames' Rebekah Jenkins in the No. 1 spot. North Texas' Kamilla Galieva held off Brittany Yang, 6-2, 7-5, in the No. 3 position. Anastasiya Shestakova clinched the contest for the Mean Green with a win in the No. 2 spot against Maria Khval, 6-3, 6-2.
Nicola Wellman delivered Liberty's lone point with a hard-fought victory at No. 6. The junior improved to 8-4 on the season after defeating Danè Joubert in three sets, 7-5, 4-6, 10-5.
The morning's play wrapped up when Alexis Thoma outlasted the Lady Flames' Mariely Hassey in three sets, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 10-7, in the No. 5 position.
"I was very proud of the level of play that I saw from Brittany (Yang), Nicola (Wellman) and Mariely (Hassey)," stated Maren. "They competed with a high level of focus and professionalism today."
After playing its last six matches on the road, Liberty returns home to the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts on Friday against Big South foe Gardner-Webb. Match time against the Bulldogs is slated for 2 p.m.
No. 67 North Texas 5, Liberty 1 SINGLES: 1. Kseniya Bardabush (NT) def. Rebekah Jenkins (LU), 6-3, 6-2 2. Anastasiya Shestakova (NT) def. Maria Khval (LU), 6-3, 6-2 3. Kamilla Galieva (NT) def. Brittany Yang (LU), 6-2, 7-5 4. Agustina Valenzuela (NT) def. Cameron Richard (LU), 6-0, 6-0 5. Alexis Thoma (NT) def. Mariely Hassey (LU), 6-3, 6-7(2), 10-7 6. Nicola Wellman (LU) def. Danè Joubert (NT), 7-5, 4-6, 10-5