Multiple Flames tennis players post undefeated singles records in final tournament of fall season
As its fall season came to a close, the Liberty women’s tennis team welcomed six teams to the Liberty Tennis Complex for the second Flames Hidden Dual of the season Nov. 3-5. Liberty was joined by Georgetown, Marshall, UNC Greensboro, Richmond, VCU, and William & Mary for the three-day event, which began Friday.
On the tournament’s opening day, Liberty went head-to-head with the University of Richmond Spiders, displaying a dominant showing and ultimately securing four singles wins. The Lady Flames who contributed to those victories were senior Esther Lovato, junior Maria Juliana Parra Romero, senior Tiffany Nguyen, and graduate student Marina Davtyan.
As the tournament entered its second day, Liberty faced Marshall University, once again securing four singles wins, earned by Lovato, Parra Romero, Nguyen and sophomore Daniella O’Neill.
On the concluding day of the tournament, the Lady Flames faced Virginia Commonwealth University. Two-set wins were all secured by Davtyan, Lovato, Nguyen, O’Neill and Parra Romero. Lovato, Parra Romero, Nguyen and O’Neill recorded an undefeated weekend on their home court, walking away from the event 3-0.
“My teammates are the main things that really help on the court, their energy, their cheering — it lifts me up and helps me play better,” Lovato said. “We are always pushing each other to be the best and we’re always honest with each other.”
Lovato, a veteran leader on Liberty’s squad, delivered an impressive performance during the fall season, emerging as a pivotal force for the women’s tennis team, securing eight singles wins over the course of the past few months. A monumental moment in Lovato’s career occurred Oct. 7 when she achieved her 100th career victory. The Texas native now holds 106 career singles wins.
“When I go into the match, I’m not thinking about what number this is or how many wins this is. I’m just thinking about playing my best,” Lovato said. “I like to not even think about it because I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I’m playing for my team, not myself. It is exciting to win a match, but I base it more off of the level of effort in the fight.”
Now, with the fall season in the books, the Lady Flames look to refine their skills
heading into the spring, which requires more than just mere physical effort.
“We’ve all been working really hard on our mental games,” Lovato said. We’ve been doing drills that really challenge us mentally, and that’s helped us a lot in these past couple of matches. These matches have really shown our mental toughness.”
The Lady Flames are set to begin their spring season on their home court against Queens University of Charlotte Jan. 19 at 2 p.m.
Carlson is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion