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Lady Flames Remain Unbeaten in Big South Play

March 25, 2016  Clinton, S.C.  RSS
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Lady Flames Remain Unbeaten in Big South Play

The Liberty Lady Flames tennis team tied a program record this afternoon, earning their seventh conference victory after defeating Presbyterian by the final score of 7-0 in Clinton, S.C.

With the victory, Liberty improves to 11-8 overall and 7-0 in Big South action. Today marked the third consecutive season that the Lady Flames have collected a program record seven conference wins. Presbyterian falls to 9-10 and 0-6 in conference action.

Liberty swept through doubles action and proceeded to finish the match without yielding a single set to the Blue Hose. Maria Khval and Anna Dollar bested Claire Andrews and Tracy Johnson from the No. 2 doubles position, 6-1, to begin competition.

The standout duo of Evangeline Crist and Valerie Thong clinched the doubles point for Liberty, upending Demi Henschel and Caroline Ferrari, 6-3. Crist and Thong's victory marked their 23rd this season as a doubles pair, setting the new program single-season record for team wins. The duo passed their own previous record of 22 set in 2015.

Liberty's freshman duo of Aleksandra Panchenko and Rebekah Anderson improved to 11-2 on the season after defeating Nicole Croxton and Celine Schepers from the No. 3 doubles slot, 6-3.

The Lady Flames were quick in setting the tone in singles play with Thong notching a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Brittany Nuttall in the No. 5 singles slot, doubling Liberty's lead to two.

Fellow senior Belen Rivera increased the lead to 3-0 after besting Henschel in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1, notching her team-best sixth consecutive singles victory. Rivera's triumph marked her 60th career singles win, tying her with former teammate Nicola Wellman for the third-most all-time singles wins in program history.

The Lady Flames clinched the match when Crist defeated Johnson in straight sets from the No. 3 singles spot, 6-2, 6-1. Crist's victory advanced Liberty ahead of the Blue Hose, 4-0, while also notching her team-high 12th victory of the spring season.

With the match already clinched, Liberty swept through the final three singles matches in the No. 1, 2 and 6 positions, respectively. Khval, Dollar, and Lauren Mabe each won straight-set matches to solidify the final score at 7-0 in favor of the Lady Flames.

"I was very proud of the way the girls raised their games today when they needed to," stated head coach Jeff Maren. "Lauren did an excellent job of stepping in for Mariely and Anna played a solid tiebreak in her match. Bekah was also amazing in doubles today. A total team effort."

Liberty returns to action on April 1 with a non-conference tilt against College of Charleston at 2 p.m. in Charleston, S.C. The following day, the Lady Flames look to notch their eighth conference victory against defending Big South champion Charleston Southern. The contest against the Buccaneers is slated to begin at 11 a.m. in Charleston, S.C.

Liberty 7, Presbyterian 0
Doubles

  1. Crist/Thong (LU) def. Henschel/Ferrari (PC), 6-3
  2. Dollar/Khval (LU) def. Andrews/Johnson (PC), 6-1
  3. Anderson/Panchenko (LU) def. Croxton/Schepers (PC), 6-3

Singles

  1. Khval (LU) def. Schepers (PC), 6-2, 7-5
  2. Dollar (LU) def. Ferrari (PC), 6-0, 7-6(8-6)
  3. Crist (LU) def. Johnson (PC), 6-2, 6-1
  4. Rivera (LU) def. Henschel (PC), 6-1, 6-1
  5. Thong (LU) def. Nuttall (PC), 6-1, 6-0
  6. Mabe (LU) def. Andrews (PC), 6-4, 6-3