Nicola Wellman registered her team-leading 10th singles win of the season on Saturday against Winthrop.
The Liberty women's tennis team dropped its first home match of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling to No. 63 Winthrop, 6-1, at the Hershey Tennis Courts.
The Lady Flames' record drops to 8-8 overall and 3-2 in Big South matches. Liberty remains winless all-time versus Winthrop and sees its home record fall to 3-1 on the season. The Eagles up their overall record to 9-3 and stay unbeaten in conference matches at 3-0.
Winthrop escaped with the doubles point to jump out to a 1-0 advantage to open the contest. After Liberty's Brittany Yang and Belen Rivera fell at No. 2, the Lady Flames bounced back with a win in the No. 3 position. Cameron Richard and Valerie Thong defeated Tijana Uzelac and Beth Williamson, 8-5. In a tight match at No. 1, the Eagles' Alice and Andressa Garcia edged Rebekah Jenkins and Maria Khval, 8-7, to clinch the point for the visitors.
The Eagles tallied the first three points in singles play to seal the match and go up 4-0. Andressa Garcia knocked off Rebekah Jenkins, 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 1 position and was followed by a victory from Alice Garcia over Yang, 6-1, 6-2, at No. 2. Cridland registered the clinching point by defeating Khval in the No. 3 spot, 6-1, 6-0.
At No. 5, Nicola Wellman put the Lady Flames on the scoreboard with her fourth consecutive singles win. The junior defeated Ekin Gunaysu, 6-3, 6-2, improving her record to a team-best 10-4 on the season.
Winthrop closed out the match with a pair of come-from-behind wins in the No. 4 and No. 6 positions. Uzelac knocked off Rivera, 0-6, 6-3, 6-2, while Monica Aguado ousted Mariely Hassey, 3-6, 6-3, 14-12.
"Winthrop outplayed us today," stated Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "They are a good team and showed us how we are to compete in order to have a shot at performing well in the conference tournament. We learned a lot about ourselves and our opponents and are excited to get back to practice this week."
Liberty remains at home for its next match, hosting UNC Asheville on Friday at 1 p.m.
No. 63 Winthrop 6, Liberty 1 DOUBLES 1. Alice Garcia/Andressa Garcia (WU) def. Rebekah Jenkins/Maria Khval (LU), 8-7 2. Ekin Gunaysu/Caitlin Cridland (WU) def. Brittany Yang/Belen Rivera (LU), 8-4 3. Cameron Richard/Valerie Thong (LU) def. Tijana Uzelac/Beth Williamson (WU), 8-5
SINGLES 1. Andressa Garcia (WU) def. Rebekah Jenkins (LU), 6-3, 6-1 2. Alice Garcia (WU) def. Brittany Yang (LU), 6-1, 6-2 3. Caitlin Cridland (WU) def. Maria Khval, 6-1, 6-0 4. Tijana Uzelac (WU) def. Belen Rivera (LU), 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 5. Nicola Wellman (LU) def. Ekin Gunaysu (WU), 6-3, 6-2 6. Monica Aguado (WU) def. Mariely Hassey (LU), 3-6, 6-3, 14-12