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Liberty Dominates Stetson 7-0, Thursday at Home

April 4, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty women's tennis posted its fifth 7-0 shutout of the 2019 campaign, blanking the visiting Stetson Hatters on Thursday at the Cook Tennis Center.

The Lady Flames have now won four straight matches and are 11-6 overall on the year and 4-1 in ASUN play. The Hatters drop to 10-7 on the season and 1-3 in the league.

Liberty won the doubles point and all six singles bouts for the victory in what was the first-ever between the two schools. The Lady Flames improve to 3-0 at home in 2019 and remain in second place in the ASUN (4-1), a half game behind North Florida (4-0).

Liberty is 8-1 over its last nine matches. The run of success started with a 5-2 road triumph against James Madison, March 3.

Liberty 7, Stetson 0

Singles Competition
1. Ashley Bongart (LIBERTYW) def. Danel Ashirova (STET) 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6)
2. Kalani Soli (LIBERTYW) def. Lucie Renault (STET) 6-4, 6-4
3. Lara Soares (LIBERTYW) def. Brooke Milner (STET) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7)
4. Maria Medina (LIBERTYW) def. Vicky Geurinckx (STET) 6-3, 6-1
5. Anna Dollar (LIBERTYW) def. Danielle Peele (STET) 6-1, 6-3
6. Grace Hashiguchi (LIBERTYW) def. Alexe Viaud (STET) 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-3)

Doubles Competition
1. Maria Medina/Lara Soares (LIBERTYW) vs. Danel Ashirova/Lucie Renault (STET) 4-4, unfinished
2. Kalani Soli/Grace Hashiguchi (LIBERTYW) def. Vicky Geurinckx/Brooke Milner (STET) 6-4
3. Ashley Bongart/Anna Dollar (LIBERTYW) def. Megan Horwitz/Alexe Viaud (STET) 6-3

Liberty 11-6, 4-1 ASUN
Stetson 10-7, 1-3 ASUN
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (4,5,2,6,3,1)
Official: B Harrison/A Sarver T-2:23

Thoughts From Head Coach Jeff Maren
"Stetson is a tough team. They beat FGCU this year, and we lost to FGCU. They were in the conference finals last year. So we had to be mentally ready to battle them from the beginning to end. Our girls did just that. From doubles through singles, they fought with grit and a strong will to come out on top. We are very proud of how the girls played today! Now, our minds are already shifting to our next match."

How It Happened

  • The Lady Flames won the doubles point for a ninth straight contest. Seniors Ashley Bongart and Anna Dollar set the tone with a 6-3 court three victory against the Hatters' Megan Horwitz and Alexe Viaud. Bongart and Dollar never trailed in their bout and are now 10-4 in spring doubles competition.
  • After falling into a 3-1 hole, junior Kalani Soli and sophomore Grace Hashiguchi (No. 2 doubles) rallied to win five of the six final games and their match with Vicky Geurinckx and Brooke Milner by a 6-4 score. The Liberty duo is now 8-1, this spring, and lifted the hosts to a 1-0 edge in the match.
  • Victories from Lady Flames players on courts four, five and two settled the outcome of the match. Liberty's No. 4 singles player, reigning ASUN Player of the Week Maria Medina, was the first to close out her match. The senior won 6-3, 6-1 against her counterpart, Geurinckx.
  • Dollar (No. 5) defeated Danielle Peele of Stetson in consecutive sets (6-1, 6-3) for her 10th straight singles win and a 3-0 Liberty lead in the match. Soli (Liberty) and Lucie Renault (Stetson) played two close sets on court two, but Soli came out on top (6-4, 6-4). The junior's ninth straight triumph in solo competition pushed the Lady Flames' lead to 4-0 and clinched the match.
  • Each of the final three matches (No. 6, No. 3 and No. 1) needed third-set 10-point tiebreakers to decide winners. The Lady Flames claimed all three of those matches.
  • First, Hashiguchi (No. 6) got past Viaud 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-3) with a dominant effort in the super tiebreaker. Soares (No. 3) followed up Hashiguchi's performance by defeating Milner 10-7 in the tiebreaker for a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-7) win. Finally, Bongart (No. 1) overcame a one-set deficit to take down the Hatters' Danel Ashirova (4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6)).
  • The victory was Liberty's second 7-0 sweep in ASUN play. Liberty is 2-0 at the Cook Tennis Center this season, with both wins coming in the last six days (Lipscomb, Stetson).
  • The Lady Flames have outscored ASUN foes a combined 25-7 and have three shutouts (two by 7-0 score, one by 4-0 score) in five conference bouts.
  • The Lady Flames are now 4-1 or better to start conference play in five straight seasons.
  • Thursday's meeting marked the first-ever showdown between the Lady Flames and Hatters.

Next Up

  • Liberty will remain at home and take on the first place North Florida Ospreys (13-6, 4-0 ASUN), Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Cook Tennis Center. The Lady Flames and Ospreys were voted as the preseason ASUN co-favorites. UNF, which is currently on a 10-match winning streak, has won each of the last four ASUN Women's Tennis Championship titles.
  • The two programs will be meeting for the first time.