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Lady Flames Win 15 Matches on Day 1 of Liberty Invite

September 22, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Soli went 4-0 in her matches on Saturday.

Soli went 4-0 in her matches on Saturday.

Liberty women's tennis turned in a perfect 6-0 mark in doubles and won nine singles bouts on its home courts at the Cook Tennis Center, Saturday on day one of the Liberty Invite.  

The Lady Flames' six doubles victories on day one of the invitational came from six different pairings. Four Liberty players – Kalani Soli, Rebekah Anderson, Maria Medina and Ashley Bongart – claimed two singles victories apiece on Saturday. Between doubles and singles competition, the Lady Flames posted 15 wins against just three losses.

Liberty newcomer Kalani Soli, a transfer from Tyler Junior College, went 4-0 in her first day of matches as a Lady Flame. Soli, a native of Carson, Calif., took both of her singles matches in straight sets. The junior bested Marshall's Victoria Walter 6-2, 6-2 in the morning and dominated Wright State's Andreaa Craciun 6-1, 6-0.

Soli teamed with senior Rebekah Anderson in the morning to take down the Marshall Thundering Herd duo of Anna Smith and Elizabeth Stefancic by a 7-5 score. In the afternoon, Soli and Bongart outlasted the Wright State pairing of Luisa Pelayo and Grace Whitney in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (2).

Anderson's perfect 4-0 day featured a pair of singles wins in which she won a combined 24 games while only yielding four games to her opposition. The senior upended Anika Tylek of Longwood (6-0, 6-0) in the morning and Jillian Milano of Wright State (6-3, 6-1) in the afternoon singles session.

In addition to her win in morning doubles with Soli, Anderson teamed with Maria Medina for a dominating 6-0 effort against Wright State's Andreea Craciun and Haily Morgan in the afternoon.

Medina, a senior in her second season with the Lady Flames, also claimed victory with her normal doubles partner, Lara Soares in the morning, a 6-1 decision over Marshall's Victoria Walter and Madison Ballow.

In solo competition, the native of Cumaná, Venezuela, topped each of her foes in straight sets. She took down the Thundering Herd's Stefancic in her first singles match of the season, followed by another two-set victory against Madison Riley of Wright State.

Bongart's unblemished 4-0 day featured doubles triumphs with senior Anna Dollar and Soli. The former was a 6-1 win against the Longwood tandem of Yulia Almiron and Anika Tylek. Bongart, a senior from Bradenton, Fla., picked up a win in morning singles versus Marshall's Smith and collected a victory in her second match after her opponent was forced to retire in the second set.

Soares and freshman Alexandra Almborg picked up a doubles victory, a convincing 6-0 victory against Longwood's Jamie Breunig and Emma Nurgaziera, to close out afternoon play. The win was the first of Almborg's young Liberty career. Before their match, Soares won a singles match (6-2, 7-5) versus Pelayo of Wright State.

Day two of the Liberty Invite will begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday at the Cook Tennis Center. Here is the schedule:  
Tentative Match Times
Sunday:
9 a.m.  
Liberty vs. Marshall & Longwood
             James Madison vs. Wright State & Longwood