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Lady Flames Run Win Streak to Six With 4-2 Victory Over Tribe, Monday

April 8, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty topped William & Mary 4-2, Monday at the Cook Tennis Center.

Liberty topped William & Mary 4-2, Monday at the Cook Tennis Center.

Playing its third home match in a span of five days, the Liberty Lady Flames tennis team overcame an early deficit to top the William & Mary Tribe 4-2, Monday at the Cook Tennis Center.

Liberty has now won six straight matches and improves to 13-6 with a victory in its first non-conference bout since March 14. The Lady Flames, who stand atop the ASUN standings at 5-1, are now a perfect 5-0 at home in 2019.

The Tribe, playing their second match in as many days (defeated James Madison 4-3, Sunday), fall to 7-12 on the year. This was the first time in program history that Liberty has defeated William & Mary (two all-time meetings).

Liberty is now 10-1 in its last 11 matches, dating back to March 3. For a second consecutive match, the Lady Flames had to overcome losing the doubles point.

Liberty 4, William & Mary 2

Singles Competition
1. Ashley Bongart (LIBERTYW) vs. Rosie Cheng (WM) 6-3, 1-6, 1-0, unfinished
2. Kalani Soli (LIBERTYW) def. Natalia Perry (WM) 6-1, 7-5
3. Lara Soares (LIBERTYW) def. Clara Tanielian (WM) 6-1, 6-2
4. Maria Medina (LIBERTYW) def. Mila Saric (WM) 6-3, 7-6 (7-2)
5. Anna Dollar (LIBERTYW) def. Lauren Goodman (WM) 6-4, 6-1
6. Charlotte Madson (WM) def. Grace Hashiguchi (LIBERTYW) 6-4, 6-4

Doubles Competition
1. Clara Tanielian/Vitoria Okuyama (WM) def. Maria Medina/Lara Soares (LIBERTYW) 7-6 (7-5)
2. Alexandra Almborg/Nasha Ghajar (LIBERTYW) def. Mila Saric/Natalia Perry (WM) 6-4
3. Lauren Goodman/Charlotte Madson (WM) def. Anna Dollar/Ashley Bongart (LIBERTYW) 6-1

Liberty 13-6
William & Mary 7-12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (3,5,2,6,4)
Official: K Barrell/P Williams T-2:28

Thoughts From Head Coach Jeff Maren
"William & Mary is a solid team who took it to us in the beginning of doubles. We rebounded but couldn't quite get that point. However, the girls came out in singles with a lot of fight in them, and they all played well throughout to secure the win. I'm very proud of how much belief and confidence we are showing on the court. I can't wait for our next match. To God be the glory!"

How It Happened

  • Liberty trailed early in all three doubles matches. The Tribe's Lauren Goodman and Charlotte Madson closed out their match on court three with Lady Flames seniors Anna Dollar and Ashley Bongart, winning 6-1.
  • The Lady Flames duo of freshman Alexandra Almborg and sophomore Nasha Ghajar, playing together for the first time since the fall, built a 5-2 lead on court two against the Tribe's Mila Saric and Natalia Perry. The Liberty pairing held on for a 6-4 triumph, improving to 6-2 overall as a team in 2018-19.
  • The deciding match (No. 1 doubles) featured Liberty seniors Maria Medina and Lara Soares and William & Mary's Clara Tanielian and Vitoria Okuyama. The Tribe appeared to be in control with a 5-2 lead, but Medina and Soares won four straight games to make it 6-5. The Tribe won the next game to set up a tiebreaker. Liberty led 5-3 in the tiebreaker, but the William & Mary duo scored four unanswered points to close out the match, 7-6 (7-5).
  • The Tribe's 1-0 cushion did not hold up in singles. The Lady Flames' Soares and Dollar both earned decisive two-set victories over their counterparts to give Liberty a lead (2-1) it would never relinquish. Soares dominated her No. 3 singles match with Tanielian, winning 6-1, 6-2. Dollar took down Goodman 6-4, 6-1 in the No. 5 position for her 10th win in her last 11 bouts.
  • After a dominant effort in the first set (6-1) against ITA Atlantic Regional (hosted by Liberty) singles main draw runner-up Natalia Perry of the Tribe, Lady Flames junior Kalani Soli looked on her way to a comfortable victory in the second set with a 4-1 lead. However, Perry clawed back to even the set at 5-5. Soli put away the match by taking the next two games for a 6-1, 7-5 decision. Her 11th consecutive singles triumph made it 3-1 Lady Flames.
  • Madson (William & Mary) got past Lady Flames sophomore Grace Hashiguchi in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. The Tribe trailed Liberty 3-2 after Madson's victory on court six.
  • Medina (Liberty) and Saric (William & Mary) battled at No. 4 singles, with Medina taking the first set. Medina looked like she would cruise to a two-set victory, as she led 5-2 in the second. Saric mounted a comeback and evened the set at 5-all. Eventually, the two players found themselves in a tiebreaker (6-6), which Medina won 7-2 to claim the match 6-3, 7-6 (2).
  • Medina's victory settled the final score at 4-2 in favor of Liberty, the Lady Flames' first win over a Commonwealth opponent since a 5-2 victory over the James Madison Dukes, March 3 in Harrisonburg, Va. It has been over two years since Liberty has won a match by a 4-2 score (4-2 against Florida Atlantic, Feb. 24, 2017).
  • Medina and Soli share the team lead with 21 singles victories on the season. Soli leads all Lady Flames with 13 singles wins in the spring and is a perfect 12-0 at No. 2 singles.

Next Up

  • Thursday is Senior Day for the Liberty women's tennis program. The Lady Flames will host the Marshall Thundering Herd in a non-conference match at 2 p.m. at the Cook Tennis Center. Prior to the match, the team will honor its five seniors – Rebekah Anderson, Ashley Bongart, Anna Dollar, Maria Medina and Lara Soares.
  • Liberty defeated Marshall for the first time in program history a year ago. The Lady Flames topped the Thundering Herd 5-2 on the road in Huntington, W.Va. on April 12, 2018.