The Liberty Lady Flames women's tennis squad began their fall season on Friday, competing in the 2015 Elon Invitational in Elon, N.C. Liberty began the first day on a strong note, finishing 7-3 in singles play and 6-4 in doubles competition.
The Lady Flames saw Anna Dollar and Emily Groeneveld both advancing to the quarterfinals in the Phoenix Singles flight. Dollar defeated UNC Asheville's Ericka Rivero by a score of 7-5, 7-5 in her first collegiate tournament. Groeneveld defeated Wake Forest's Courtney Meredith, 6-3, 6-0 en route to her second straight quarterfinal appearance at the Elon Invitational.
Liberty tallied a 2-0 mark in the Acorn Singles flight after Lauren Mabe and Evangeline Crist notched first round victories. Mabe defeated Sarah Swiderski of UNCG in three sets, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.
Crist ousted Emory's Taylor Cosme in three sets as well, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0. Crist has had previous success at this event, advancing to the A-3 Singles flight finals in 2014.
The Lady Flames tallied a pair of victories in the Gold Singles flight as Belen Rivera and Mariely Hassey advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals. Rivera notched a three-set victory over Western Carolina's Savannah Taranto, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2. Hassey followed Rivera's performance by besting UNCG's Jamie Grinberg, 6-1, 6-3.
Liberty's final singles victory came from senior Valerie Thong in the Powell Singles flight. Thong successfully bested North Carolina Central's Jasmine Gabriel in three sets, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.
Liberty notched six doubles victories in three different draws. Maria Khval and Dollar defeated George Washington's Marie-Louise Decamps and Teodora Radosavljevic, 8-7 (1).
Following the duo's victory, Khval and Dollar ousted Wake Forest's Joanna Zalewski and Andrea Retolaza by a score of 8-6 to advance to the finals in the Maroon Doubles flight on Sunday.
In the Phoenix Doubles flight, Crist and Thong paired up to win two draws to advance to the finals on Sunday. The duo ousted the Catamounts' Megan McLinden and Shannon Bettiol in the first round, 8-1. The doubles tandem then handled Colonels' Taylor Nederlander and Diana Kussainova by a score of 8-1. Crist and Thong won the B-1 Doubles flight in the 2014 Elon Invitational.
Liberty's final two doubles victories came from Rivera and Hassey. The doubles tandem first bested Western Carolina's Savannah Taranto and Alexa Webb, 8-2 to advance to the semifinals of the Gold Doubles draw. The duo then ousted another SoCon duo in Karlee Bryde and Harper Caswell of Furman, 8-5, advancing to the finals on Sunday.
The Lady Flames will return to action in day two of the Elon Invitational with singles play tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.