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Soli Wins Title, Lady Flames Pick Up 12 Total Wins at Elon Fall Invite

October 28, 2018  Elon, N.C.  RSS
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Soli captured the Maroon singles title on Sunday.

Soli captured the Maroon singles title on Sunday.

The Liberty women's tennis team was represented by four players at the Elon Fall Invitational, this weekend at the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. The Lady Flames collected four doubles wins and eight singles victories over the course of Saturday and Sunday.

The tournament was originally scheduled for Sept. 15-17 but was postponed and moved to the end of October due to Hurricane Florence. This marked the fourth time in the last five years Liberty has competed at the Elon Fall Invitational.

"This weekend was all about elevating our level of execution, and we did that for most of the weekend," said Liberty Women's Tennis Associate Head Coach Giancarlo Lemmi. "Our girls were able to get a lot of high-quality matches that will help them to develop and get ready for the spring. We are already looking forward to next weekend!"

The Lady Flames posted a 4-2 record in doubles and 8-4 record in singles at the event for a 12-6 cumulative mark.

Liberty junior Kalani Soli led the charge for the Lady Flames, recording a perfect 3-0 singles mark on the way to a Maroon singles flight championship. Soli bested Davidson's Megan Scholvinck (5-4, retired) and host Elon's Uma Nayar (6-0, 6-2) in the quarterfinals and semifinals before defeating Radford's Anastasia Belyaeva (6-2, 6-3) in the championship match. Soli, in her first season with Liberty after transferring from Tyler Junior College, is 6-2 in fall singles bouts.

Soli and her doubles partner, Grace Hashiguchi, won two of their three matches at the event in the Maroon doubles draw. After a tough 8-6 loss to Samantha Armas and Alysa Hahn of Davidson in its first match, the duo captured its two consolation matches to win the backdraw.

Soli and Hashiguchi, who were playing competitive matches for the first time together this fall, upended North Carolina Central's Frida Cnossen and Hannah Gaines by a 6-0 score. The Lady Flames' pairing once again won by a 6-0 count in their final match over Suzanne Zenoni and Olivia Archer of Elon.

Hashiguchi also went 2-1 in her singles matches, falling in the title match of the Gold singles bracket. She defeated NC Central's Sofia Miller 6-1, 6-2 and Davidson's Alexa Abele 6-3, 6-2 to reach the championship match. The Elon Phoenix's Maria Paraja got past Hashiguchi in two sets, 6-4, 6-2, to claim the Gold singles crown.

Similar to Hashiguchi, Lady Flames freshman Alexandra Almborg picked up victories in her first two singles contests before falling in the title match of the Oak singles division. Almborg's triumph in a first round match (6-4, 6-1) against Kara Ferner of Christopher Newport was the first singles victory of her college career.

Almborg, who hails from Staffanstorp, Sweden, earned a berth in the final with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Elon's Alex Koniaev. She squared off with another Elon Phoenix opponent, Montana Moore, in the final. Moore prevailed in two sets, 6-3, 7-5.

Almborg and her doubles partner, sophomore Nasha Ghajar, were victorious in two of the three matches they competed in as part of the Gold doubles draw. The pairing lost its opening match to Nicole Shiau and Koniaev of Elon, 8-4. However, like their teammates, Almborg and Ghajar dominated their backdraw matches, first besting Christopher Newport's Alison Burgess and Colette Gilbert 6-0 and then knocking off the CNU Captains' Amanda Yermal and Ferner 6-1.

Ghajar, who was making her season debut for the Lady Flames this weekend, claimed one singles victory at the tournament. That victory was a 6-2, 6-1 decision over the Captains' Burgess.

Liberty will be back in action next weekend at two different tournaments. The Lady Flames will play at the Furman Duals in Greenville, S.C., next Friday through Sunday. They will also compete at the Dick Vitale Intercollege Clay Court Classic, next Friday through Sunday in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic is a prestigious tournament which is the only collegiate clay court tournament in the country.