The Lady Flames featured three players on the VaSID All-State team.
Liberty women's tennis players Kalani Soli, Lara Soares and Maria Medina each received recognition on the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division Women's Tennis All-State teams, as announced on Friday.
Soli, a junior, was honored on the VaSID All-State singles first team, becoming just the second player in program history to achieve that feat. Meanwhile, Soares, a senior, was recognized on the VaSID All-State singles second team.
Soares and her doubles partner, fellow senior Maria Medina, were recognized as a doubles unit for the second straight year. The duo received VaSID All-State doubles second team honors and are the first Liberty pairing in program history to be named all-state in consecutive seasons (first team in 2018).
The Lady Flames have now featured seven doubles units on the listing, all of which have come in the past five years. Soares is the second player in school history (other: Maria Khval in 2016) to make the all-state team in both doubles and singles in the same year.
Soli joins Jordan Jenkins (2008) as the only other Liberty player to garner first team all-state distinction. The Carson, Calif., native made an immediate impact in her first year in Lynchburg, as she was a unanimous selection to the ASUN All-Conference first team. Soli won a team-high 24 singles matches against only six losses for a .800 winning percentage.
The junior captured her final 14 singles matches of the season, went a perfect 15-0 at No. 2 singles and won all seven of her ASUN regular-season contests. She also became Liberty's first-ever ASUN Women's Tennis Player of the Week on March 20. Soli finished her first season as a Lady Flame with a No. 14 singles ranking in the Atlantic Region.
Soares, Liberty's team captain, garnered a No. 64 national ranking from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) late in the fall (Nov. 14), the best mark of any player in program history. Her fall included a victory over VaSID All-State first team honoree and All-American Paola Diaz-Delgado of VCU as well as a singles title at the Hokie Fall Invite (Sept. 30).
The senior from Sobradinho, Brazil won the last six singles matches of her career and finished with a 19-12 singles mark. She posted a 7-4 mark in the No. 3 position in the lineup, this spring.
Medina and Soares wrapped up their career as the 10th-ranked doubles team in the Atlantic Region. The pairing led Liberty with 19 doubles victories this season, with only six losses. They went 13-4 at No. 1 doubles and posted a 4-1 mark in ASUN singles contests.\
Medina and Soares combined to go 40-13 (.755) in doubles over the course of their two seasons with the Lady Flames.
Liberty finished the 2019 campaign with a 15-7 overall record and a 6-1 mark in the ASUN in its first season in the league. The Lady Flames earned a share of the conference's regular-season title and claimed the No. 1 seed for the ASUN Women's Tennis Championship.
2019 VaSID All-State Women's Tennis University Division VaSID Player of the Year – Meghan Kelley, Virginia VaSID Rookie of the Year – Amber O'Dell, Virginia VaSID Coach of the Year – Dominic Manilla, Old Dominion
VaSID All-State First Team Singles Paola Diaz-Delgado (VCU) Chloe Gullickson (Virginia) Holly Hutchinson (Old Dominion) Meghan Kelley (Virginia) Amber O'Dell (Virginia) Kalani Soli (Liberty)
Doubles Holly Hutchinson/Brooke Pilkington (Old Dominion) Meghan Kelley/Sofia Munera (Virginia) Chloe Gullickson/Amber O'Dell (Virginia)
VaSID All-State Second Team Singles Daria Afanasyeva (James Madison) Rosie Cheng (William & Mary) Natalia Perry (William & Mary) Brooke Pilkington (Old Dominion) Lara Soares (Liberty) Nataliia Vlasova (Old Dominion)
Doubles Clara Tenielian/Vitoria Okuyama (William & Mary) Daria Afanasyeva/Emma Petersen (James Madison) Maria Medina/Lara Soares (Liberty)
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