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Women's Tennis to Face Florida Atlantic and No. 46 UCF in the Sunshine State

February 23, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty will face Florida Atlantic on Friday and No. 46 UCF on Saturday in Orlando.

Liberty will face Florida Atlantic on Friday and No. 46 UCF on Saturday in Orlando.

The Liberty women's tennis team will head to the state of Florida for matches with Florida Atlantic and No. 46 UCF, Friday and Saturday in Orlando.

The Lady Flames will take on Florida Atlantic (hosted by UCF) on Friday at 11 a.m., followed by UCF on Saturday at 4 p.m. Both matches will be played at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus.

Liberty (4-4) has never faced Florida Atlantic (4-3) or UCF (8-1).

"We had a great week of practice and are looking forward to competing this weekend," said Liberty Head Women's Tennis Coach Jeff Maren. "We will have two very good teams to compete against, so I have no doubt that we'll be forced to raise our games."

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats and live video will be available for both matches. Visit the women's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com for links to live stats and live video.

Big South Dominance
After claiming a share of the Big South Conference regular season title in 2016, the Lady Flames are off to another strong start in 2017 with a 3-0 mark in Big South play. Liberty already has wins over Longwood, Radford and UNC Asheville in conference competition. The Lady Flames have yielded just two points to their opposition in three league matches.

Liberty senior Mariely Hassey was named the Big South Women's Tennis Player of the Week by the league office, Wednesday. The Arizona native collected a pair of singles wins and one doubles win, last week.

The Lady Flames will play their next Big South match against Charleston Southern in Lynchburg on March 11.

Inside the Numbers
Hassey leads the Lady Flames with 10 singles victories in the 2016-17 season. She has 59 career singles wins in a Liberty uniform, sixth-most in program history. Junior Evangeline Crist is right behind her with 58 career singles victories.

Crist (8-6 record) and freshman Eugenia Camacho (4-3 record) also hold singles records above .500 for the entire 2016-17 season. Crist, senior Emily Groeneveld and sophomore Anna Dollar are all 4-2 in singles competition, this spring.

Liberty's top two doubles units this year have been Crist and Dollar (12-6 record) and sophomores Rebekah Anderson and Aleksandra Panchenko (10-8 record). Crist is No. 4 in program history in doubles victories (67).

Scouting Florida Atlantic
The Owls come into Friday's match with a 4-3 mark. They lost their most recent match, 4-0, to No. 36 Florida State, Tuesday. Florida Atlantic has recorded wins over Stetson, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M and Middle Tennesee, so far this spring.

FAU's 11-player roster consists of four freshmen, one sophomore, two juniors and four seniors. The Owls' top singles player so far this spring has been senior Lyndsey Boos, who owns a 5-1 mark. In doubles competition, freshman Lauren Fabrizi and Ana Gutierrez are a perfect 6-0 in the No. 1 doubles slot.  

Florida Atlantic is coached by Marcy Hora-Cava, who is in her ninth season at the helm. Hora-Cava led the Owls to a 12-9 record in 2016.

The Owls will also face UCF on Friday at 5 p.m.

Scouting UCF
The Knights enter the weekend with an 8-1 record and hold the No. 46 spot in the Oracle/ITA Division I Collegiate Rankings. Their most recent victories have come over North Florida and Florida Gulf Coast. Their only setback of 2017 came to Iowa, Jan. 15.

UCF's roster is composed of one freshman, one sophomore, three juniors and a senior. The Knights boast a trio of players (Cortney Cesarini, Emily Granstrom and Monica Matias) with identical 8-1 records in singles play, this spring.

Granstrom and Natalia Serrano are unbeaten (9-0) at No. 2 doubles this spring, while Cesarini and Matias are 8-1 as a unit in the No. 1 slot. The Knights are 21-5 in doubles play as a team.

UCF is led by first-year head coach Bryan Koniecko. Koniecko spent the last two seasons as the men's tennis head coach at Brown.