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2019 ASUN Women's Tennis Championship Preview

April 17, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Top-seeded Liberty will start its quest for an ASUN title on Friday morning in the semifinal round of the 2019 ASUN Women's Tennis Championship.

The Lady Flames finished the regular season with a 15-6 overall mark, winning their last eight matches. Liberty claimed its last six ASUN matches to earn the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament.

The three-day tournament, held at the Mandy Stoll Tennis Center on Stetson's campus in DeLand, Fla., will begin with quarterfinal matches on Thursday. The Lady Flames will meet either No. 4 seed Florida Gulf Coast (9-9, 4-3 ASUN) or No. 5 seed Stetson (12-8, 3-4 ASUN). Those two teams will play on Thursday at 9 a.m., with the winner moving on to face Liberty on Friday at 9 a.m.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 2 seed North Florida (15-7, 6-1 ASUN) will receive a bye to the semifinals, where it will face either No. 3 seed Lipscomb (16-5, 5-2 ASUN) or No. 6 seed NJIT (13-8, 2-5 ASUN).

The winner of the championship will receive an automatic bid to the 2019 Division I Women's Tennis Championship.

Below is the schedule for the championship:

2019 ASUN Women's Tennis Championship – Mandy Stoll Tennis Center – DeLand, Fla.
Thursday, April 18 – Quarterfinals
Match 1 – No. 4 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 5 seed Stetson, 9 a.m.
Match 2 – No. 3 seed Lipscomb vs. No. 6 seed NJIT, 11:30 a.m.

Friday, April 19 – Semifinals
Match 3 – No. 1 seed Liberty vs. Match 1 winner, 9 a.m.
Match 4 – No. 2 seed North Florida vs. Match 2 winner, 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, April 20 – Final
Match 3 winner vs. Match 4 winner, 10 a.m. – ESPN+

History in ASUN Championship/Series History vs. FGCU/Stetson
The Lady Flames are making their first-ever appearance in the ASUN Championship. Liberty was picked as the ASUN co-favorite, alongside North Florida.

In the regular season, both FGCU and Stetson were first-time opponents for the Lady Flames. Liberty's only loss in ASUN regular season action was to the FGCU Eagles on March 17, a 4-3 setback in Fort Myers, Fla. The Lady Flames swept Stetson 7-0, April 4 in Lynchburg.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Stetson Athletic Communications will provide live scoring throughout the tournament.  Also, follow @LibertyWTennis on Twitter and Instagram (libertywtennis) for periodic updates throughout the championship. Saturday's championship match will be featured live on ESPN+.  Find the links for both matches on the schedule page of LibertyFlames.com/womenstennis.

Lady Flames News and Notes

  • Liberty is seeking its first conference title in program history. The Lady Flames have finished as the runner-up in a championship setting twice before (2016 and 2018 Big South Championships).
  • The Lady Flames have won eight straight matches overall, a streak which started with a 7-0 victory at Kennesaw State on March 23.
  • The Lady Flames (15-6) have now won 15 or more matches in five of the past six seasons. The most matches Liberty has ever won in a season is 19, set in 2015 (19-5 record).
  • Liberty featured three ASUN Players of the Week over the final five weeks of the season: junior Kalani Soli (March 20), senior Maria Medina (April 3) and senior Ashley Bongart (April 10).
  • Soli has been a dominant force in the Lady Flames' lineup throughout the spring. The junior from Carson, Calif., is a perfect 14-0 at No. 2 singles, 7-0 in ASUN singles matches and 15-3 overall in spring singles bouts. Senior Anna Dollar (14-3 overall, 6-1 ASUN singles) has also been a key factor in Liberty's success.
  • In doubles, all three of Liberty's main doubles units have been highly successful, this spring. Seniors Maria Medina and Lara Soares are 12-4 at No. 1 doubles and 4-1 in ASUN matches, while seniors Ashley Bongart and Dollar are 12-5 in spring doubles and 4-1 in ASUN contests. Soli and sophomore Grace Hashiguchi are 8-2 at No. 2 doubles in 2019 and 2-1 in ASUN bouts.
  • Liberty finished 6-0 at home in 2019. Head coach Jeff Maren picked up his 100th career win with the Lady Flames on March 30 at Lipscomb.