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2018 Women's Tennis Spring Season Recap

June 21, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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LFSN reporter Nick Pierce had the opportunity to touch base with Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren during the early stages of summer to recap the 2018 season and look forward to next fall.

The Lady Flames posted an 18-9 overall mark for their second-most wins in a season in program history. Additionally, Liberty finished 7-1 in the Big South regular-season standings for second place, earning a runner-up finish in the 2018 Big South Women's Tennis Championship.

2018 Spring Season Highlights

  • The Lady Flames set a new program single-season record with seven Big South All-Conference honorees in 2018: junior Maria Medina (first team singles and first team doubles), junior Lara Soares (first team singles and first team doubles), junior Ashley Bongart (first team singles), junior Rebekah Anderson (second team doubles), freshman Grace Hashiguchi (second team doubles), senior Evangeline Crist (second team singles) and junior Anna Dollar (second team singles).
  • Liberty featured two doubles pairings on the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) All-State teams – Medina and Soares (first team) and Anderson and Hashiguchi (second team). The Lady Flames have now had six doubles units named to the listing in program history, all of which have come in the past four years.
  • Senior captain Evangeline Crist wrapped up her career as the program's all-time winningest player in both doubles (94) and singles (92) victories. She set the doubles record with her 91st career win on April 3 at Longwood with her doubles partner, junior Anna Dollar. Five days later, she recorded her record-breaking 88th singles triumph in a home match against Hampton.
  • Grace Hashiguchi was a two-time Big South Freshman of the Week honoree (March 28, April 11), while Maria Medina (Big South Player of the Week, Feb. 14) and Polina Miroshnichenko (Big South Freshman of the Week, Feb. 14) were both recognized in the conference's weekly awards as well.
  • The doubles unit of Anderson and Hashiguchi finished the season as the fifth-ranked doubles team in the Oracle/ITA Division I Atlantic Regional Rankings. The duo finished 16-2 on the season (second-best winning percentage in Big South) .889) and won their final 10 matches.
  • Liberty posted a program-record eight 7-0 shutouts on the season, including three in Big South play. The Lady Flames had 11 total shutouts (eight by 7-0 score, three by 4-0 count), this spring.
  • Juniors Lara Soares and Ashley Bongart had the seventh and eighth-best winning percentages in program history for singles players (minimum 20 wins). Soares posted a .667 winning percentage (20-10 record) and was the Big South's top No. 3 singles player (13-1, .929), while Bongart had a .657 winning percentage (23-12) and the third-best winning percentage (.688, 11-5) in the league among No. 1 players. Junior Anna Dollar moved into the top 10 in program history (No. 8) for career doubles wins (59).
  • Liberty qualified for the title match of the Big South Women's Tennis Championship for the second time in three seasons. The Lady Flames shut out both No. 7 seed UNC Asheville (April 19) and No. 3 Campbell (April 20) by 4-0 scores in advancing to the championship match. In eight regular-season league matches, the Lady Flames outscored their opponents, 47-9.
  • The Lady Flames won a remarkable 77 percent (57-17 record) of their doubles matches during the spring and nearly 70 percent (.697, 106-46 record) of their singles bouts in 2018.
  • Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren collected his 90th victory at Liberty with a 4-0 win over Campbell in the semifinals of the Big South Women's Tennis Championship on April 20. Maren is now 90-56 overall in his six seasons with the Lady Flames. In May, assistant coach Giancarlo Lemmi was promoted to the position of Liberty Women's Tennis Associate Head Coach.