The Liberty Lady Flames women's tennis team continued their strong fall start, recording a 12-4 mark in singles play on day two of the Elon Invitational. Saturday consisted of only singles play, with the doubles finals scheduled to take place on Sunday.
The Lady Flames swept through three flights today in the Acorn Singles, Powell Singles and Gold Singles brackets, recording a 10-0 record across the divisions.
Lauren Mabe began the rally for the red and blue after defeating Chattanooga's Rachele Gazzola in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3. Mabe then rallied to defeat Elon's Natalia Janowicz in three sets, 6-4, 5-7, 10-3 to reach the Acorn Singles finals. Teammate Evangeline Crist notched similar results en route to her second consecutive finals appearance.
Crist began Saturday's competition with a three-set victory over Richmond's Kelsey Williams, 7-5, 4-6, 10-5. Crist then cruised past Winthrop's Tijana Uzelac in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0. Crist will face teammate Mabe in the Acorn Singles finals on Sunday.
Liberty saw similar results in the Gold Singles bracket with Belen Rivera and Mariely Hassey. Rivera rallied in the final two sets to down Emory's Madison Gordon in a nail biter, 4-6, 6-4, 11-9. Rivera then settled down to handle Elon's Kamilla Beisenova with ease, 6-0, 6-0. Hassey notched a pair of straight set victories over Chattanooga's Sydney Patton (6-2, 6-3) and Winthrop's Monica Aquado (7-5, 6-2), advancing to the finals of the Gold draw. Hassey and Rivera will square off in the finals on Sunday morning.
Valerie Thong is the fifth and final Lady Flame to appear in a singles final after picking up a pair of straight set wins in the Powell Singles flight. Thong first bested Western Carolina's Erin Maguire 6-1, 6-0 before handing Richmond's Ana Ramirez a 6-4, 6-4 loss. Thong will take on host Elon's Maria Paraja in the Powell Singles finals tomorrow morning.
Maria Khval and Emily Groeneveld picked up the final two victories for the Lady Flames. Khval defeated UNCG's Amy Ellis, 6-2, 6-2 in the Maroon consolation bracket. Groeneveld picked up a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 10-4 victory in the quarterfinals before suffering a three-set loss to George Washington's Diana Kussainova (4-6, 7-5, 5-10).
Sunday's action will begin with the doubles finals, featuring three different Liberty duos. Khval and Anna Dollar will take on a pair of Big South foes in the Maroon draw. Thong and Crist will square off with Wake Forest's Courtney Meredith and Xue Zhang.
Thong and Crist look to capture their second consecutive doubles finals draw at the Elon Invitational. The final Liberty doubles tandem will feature Rivera and Hassey who will face off against UNCG's Jamie Grinberg and Masey DeMoss.
Following doubles competition, the singles consolation semifinals will be played featuring Khval in the Maroon draw. The singles finals will follow all consolation semifinals to conclude the tournament.