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Senior Soli Wins on Day 2 of Oracle ITA Masters in California

September 27, 2019  Malibu, Calif.  RSS
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Soli picked up a victory on day two of the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, Calif.

Soli picked up a victory on day two of the Oracle ITA Masters in Malibu, Calif.

Liberty Lady Flames tennis senior Kalani Soli clawed back from an early deficit to top Grand Canyon's Emilia Occhipinti 6-4, 6-0 on the second day of the Oracle ITA Masters at Pepperdine's Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center.

"Kalani started slow and got down 4-0 really fast, but once she found her game, her confidence grew and she was able to play the way she wanted to," said associate head coach Giancarlo Lemmi. "The result doesn't indicate what a tough match it was. I can't wait to watch her again tomorrow!"

After falling into a 4-0 hole, Soli won an impressive 12 games in a row to close out the match against Occhipinti, who was GCU's No. 1 player and an All-WAC singles and doubles honoree last spring.

Soli's major advantages came in first serve points won (63 percent to 38 percent), first return points won (62 percent to 37 percent) and break points won (75 percent to 33 percent).

Soli will move on to the quarterfinals of the consolation draw, where she will meet No. 12 seed Asuka Kawai of Illinois on Saturday. Kawai is the No. 20 singles player in the nation in the Oracle/ITA Division I Women's Rankings. She topped Eastern Illinois' Rachel Papavasilopoulos in straight sets (6-2, 7-5) on Friday.

It will be Soli's second ranked opponent of the week, after she took on No. 32 Jessica Failla of Pepperdine yesterday. If Soli defeats Kawai, she will play in the semifinals later in the day.

Day three of the Oracle ITA Masters will begin on Saturday morning. The tournament central page will feature updated draws and start times for the third day of competition later on Friday evening.