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Liberty Notches Sixth Consecutive Conference Victory

March 24, 2016  Conway, S.C.  RSS
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Liberty Notches Sixth Consecutive Conference Victory

The Liberty Lady Flames continued their hot start to conference action, besting Coastal Carolina by the final score of 4-3 in Conway, S.C., Thursday afternoon.

With the victory, the Lady Flames improved to 10-8 overall and a conference-best 6-0 in Big South action. Coastal Carolina dropped just its fourth match of the season and saw its nine-match winning streak halted. The Chanticleers hold a 13-4 overall mark, including 4-1 in conference play.

The Lady Flames dropped the doubles point for the first time in 12 matches, as Coastal Carolina claimed doubles victories in the No. 1 and No. 3 positions.

Maria Khval and Anna Dollar collected the lone doubles win for Liberty, besting Natalie Wall and Cari Berry from the No. 2 slot, 6-4.

The Chanticleers doubled their lead from the No. 1 singles position with Libby Scott defeating Khval in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.

With Liberty backed into the corner, something sparked the Lady Flames to rally off four consecutive singles victories to claim the 4-2 edge.

Belen Rivera began the red and blue rally as the Bolivian senior defeated Wall from the No. 4 singles position, 6-2, 6-2.

Dollar deadlocked the contest at two apiece from the No. 2 singles slot. The Liberty freshman upended Romane Delay in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

The Lady Flames captured their first lead from the No. 3 singles position, an advantage they did not relinquish. Evangeline Crist stepped up for Liberty, providing the Lady Flames with a 6-3, 6-3 victory and the 3-2 edge over the rival Chanticleers.

Much like she did on Saturday, senior Valerie Thong came through in the clutch for Liberty. The California native dropped the first set to Berry, 6-1, from the No. 6 singles position. With the match on the line, Thong maintained her composure to down Berry in the second set, 6-4. The Liberty senior then used the second-set momentum to cruise to a 6-2 victory in the third set, claiming the match for the Lady Flames with the 4-2 advantage.

With the match already sealed, the Chanticleers won the final match from the No. 5 singles spot, but all too late falling by the final score of 4-3.

"The girls did a great job of coming together after losing doubles and supporting each other during singles," stated head coach Jeff Maren. "Coastal is an excellent team and we had to play with a lot of grit to overcome them today."

The Lady Flames return to action tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. in a conference tilt against Presbyterian in Clinton, S.C.

Liberty 4, Coastal Carolina 3
Doubles

  1. Scott/Bondar (CCU) def. Crist/Thong (LU), 6-3
  2. Dollar/Khval (LU) def. Wall/Berry (CCU), 6-4
  3. Babayan/Delay (CCU) def. Panchenko/Anderson (LU), 6-4

Singles

  1. Scott (CCU) def. Khval (LU), 6-1, 6-3
  2. Dollar (LU) def. Delay (CCU), 6-4, 6-3
  3. Crist (LU) def. Babayan (CCU), 6-3, 6-3
  4. Rivera (LU) def. Wall (CCU), 6-2, 6-2
  5. Bondar (CCU) def. Hassey (LU), 6-4, 6-4
  6. Thong (LU) def. Berry (CCU), 1-6, 6-4, 6-2