Evangeline Crist Breaks Flames Records
As the cool wind blew Evangeline Crist’s hair in front of her face Sunday, April 8, the crowd rose to its feet in applause, realizing the magnitude of her accomplishment.
Crist just set the Liberty University Lady Flames record for the most singles tennis wins in school history.
Whether through interactions with professors, interviewing with reporters or talking with teammates, Crist’s positivity, kindness and Christlike attitude are apparent to everyone the Lady Flames senior tennis captain meets.
Crist’s story began in Atlanta, Georgia, where she grew up as the youngest of eight siblings. Crist and her older brothers and sisters were all homeschooled until their eighth-grade year.
“Obviously, you do your homework in the morning and have a ton of time in the afternoon,” Crist said. “My mom was always adamant on (us) playing a sport and an instrument. Pick one thing to devote your time to and be engaged in.”
Crist’s siblings decided that their hobby would be tennis. Crist went along with the family’s choice sport, not realizing what the future outcome would be.
“That’s where I spent my time because all of my siblings were playing,” Crist said. “I would always follow along with them or watch them. From a young age, you just always have to figure out a way to hang with them. I picked up tennis from a very early age.”
Due to Crist’s homeschooled status, she was able to have more tennis training time throughout middle school. Once Crist’s parents noticed their daughter’s natural talent and drive for the sport, they hired a personal coach for Crist before high school began.
“(Tennis) came with so many challenges,” Crist said. “The time that I had to put into it, the sacrifices that I had to make with missing family events because of it.”
Despite the struggles that Crist had to face while training, she understood from an early age that tennis would likely be her avenue into receiving a collegiate scholarship.
“Our parents always tried to get us ready for college,” Crist said. “Whether that was getting involved (on) campus as an RA or playing sports and getting a scholarship through that.”
Crist’s parents were limited on the financial assistance that they could offer their children because of how many they had.
“Tennis was that opportunity for me, that door that could open,” Crist said. “But there were a lot of times where I was like, I don’t know if I love this. It’s so hard and I have to miss so much.”
Crist persevered throughout her middle school years and eventually became a standout on her high school tennis team.
“We were by no means good at all,” Crist said. “But it was so much fun. It was the first time that I had been able to have something on my shirt that showed that I was playing for something greater.”
Crist has grown accustomed to playing for something greater. Following a standout high school carrier at Providence Christian Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, Crist accepted a scholarship offer from the Flames.
Crist’s career as a Flame has been nothing short of impressive, as the senior team captain now owns the Flames record for the most singles and doubles wins in Flames history.
“It seems insane to say that I have records in both singles and doubles,” Crist said. “It still doesn’t seem real. But I think that a huge part of it was not thinking of myself.”