Crist and Dollar helped secure the doubles point for Liberty versus James Madison.
Saturday's match between Liberty and visiting James Madison came down to the final bout on court six, with the match even at 3-3. The visiting Dukes prevailed in that match to win, 4-3, at Crosswhite Athletic Club.
James Madison runs its record to 7-0 on the season, while the Lady Flames have now lost two in a row and are 4-5 overall.
"We always have tight matches with JMU, and this one was no exception," said Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "Our girls competed hard and came up a little short against a very good team. We'll learn from this and begin preparing for our next match."
The final match between the Dukes' Kimmy Herrock and Grace Hashiguchi went to Herrock in two hard-fought sets (7-5, 6-4). JMU won four of the six singles matches after the Lady Flames won the doubles point.
Liberty captured the doubles point for a sixth straight match, this time by winning two different tiebreakers (courts one and three). The Dukes appeared to be in good position following Anna Makarova and Emma Petersen's 6-2 win over the Lady Flames' Maria Medina and Lara Soares in the No. 2 doubles matchup.
Additionally, Elizabeth Norman and Diane Flament of JMU led, 6-5, against Liberty's No. 1 tandem of Evangeline Crist and Anna Dollar. At the same time, the hosts' Rebekah Anderson and Grace Hashiguchi led, 6-5, versus their competitors Jona Roka and Dylan Owens. Roka and Owens captured the next game to force a tiebreaker, but Anderson and Hashiguchi dominated the tiebreaker, 7-2, to win 7-6 (2).
Meanwhile, Crist and Dollar staved off defeat by winning the next game to make it 6-6 and create a tiebreaker. The Liberty veteran duo prevailed, 7-3, winning the match, 7-6 (3). The victory improved their record to 4-0 and put Liberty on top, 1-0, in the match.
James Madison shook off the tough doubles defeats, winning at No. 1 and No. 4 doubles, taking their first lead. Roka erased a one-set deficit on court one against Medina for a three-set triumph (1-6, 6-3, 6-1). In the No. 4 match, Petersen battled past Dollar, 6-4, 7-5.
Petersen's victory put James Madison in front, 2-1, but it was short-lived due to Liberty's Soares' three-set win over Makarova (6-4, 2-6, 7-5) that tied the score at 2-all. The Dukes' Norman lost a tiebreaker in the first set against the Lady Flames' Bongart but won a third-set tiebreaker to take the match, 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (3).
A point away from victory (3-2), James Madison failed to seal the deal on court five. The Lady Flames' Crist defeated Flement, 6-1, 6-4, bringing the score to 3-3. Herrock's victory versus Hashiguchi ran JMU's winning streak to seven matches.
Liberty's next match will be its Big South opener on Thursday at home against Campbell (3-5) at 2 p.m.
James Madison University 4, Liberty 3 Singles competition 1. Jona Roka (JMU) def. MEDINA, Maria (LIBERTYW) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 2. Elizabeth Norman (JMU) def. BONGART, Ashley (LIBERTYW) 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) 3. SOARES, Lara (LIBERTYW) def. Anna Makarova (JMU) 6-4, 2-6, 7-5 4. Emma Petersen (JMU) def. DOLLAR, Anna (LIBERTYW) 6-4, 7-5 5. CRIST, Evangeline (LIBERTYW) def. Diane Flament (JMU) 6-1, 6-4 6. Kimmy Herrock (JMU) def. HASHIGUCHI, Grace (LIBERTYW) 7-5, 6-4
Doubles competition 1. CRIST, Evangeline/DOLLAR, Anna (LIBERTYW) def. Elizabeth Norman/Diane Flament (JMU) 7-6 (7-3) 2. Anna Makarova/Emma Petersen (JMU) def. MEDINA, Maria/SOARES, Lara (LIBERTYW) 6-2 3. ANDERSON, Rebekah/HASHIGUCHI, Grace (LIBERTYW) def. Jona Roka/Dylan Owens (JMU) 7-6 (7-2)
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (1,4,3,2,5,6)
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