For the first time this season, Liberty senior Valerie Thong has been recognized as the Big South Women's Tennis Player of the Week. Thong receives the honor for contests played from March 14-20.
Thong finished the week with a perfect 5-0 overall record, including three doubles wins. On March 15, Thong paired up with Evangeline Crist to defeat Radford's Tarrannum Handa and Meili Martin, 6-1. The duo's victory helped the Lady Flames clinched the doubles point to take an early 1-0 edge. Liberty maintained momentum, cruising past the Highlanders to win 6-1.
On Friday, Thong and Crist teamed up to defeat Gardner-Webb's Stina Magnusson and Sandra Bolstad, 6-0. Once again, Thong and Crist's efforts aided Liberty in capturing the doubles point for the early 1-0 lead. Thong also competed in the No. 6 singles position, besting Laura Fermosel in straight sets, 7-6(2), 6-0 to improve the Lady Flames' lead to 6-0 over the Runnin' Bulldogs. Liberty went on to defeat Gardner-Webb, 7-0.
The California senior was back at it on Saturday against No. 53 Winthrop. Thong partnered with Crist to win their ninth consecutive doubles match, improving to 13-3 as a doubles tandem on the season. Later in the match with the score knotted at three apiece, Thong provided the Lady Flames with one of the biggest wins in program history. The Liberty senior bested Winthrop's Tijana Uzelac in straight sets from the No. 6 singles slot, 6-2, 6-3, pulling off the upset and helping the Lady Flames in besting the 53rd ranked Eagles for the first time in program history, 4-3.
Thong and the Lady Flames return to action tomorrow with a conference showdown against Coastal Carolina at 1 p.m. The Lady Flames currently rank first in the conference with a 5-0 record and need to defeat the Chanticleers to provide themselves with a cushion in the conference standings. Liberty will then square off against Presbyterian on Friday at 10 a.m. in Clinton, S.C.
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