The Liberty Lady Flames return home this weekend for a duo of Big South opponents. Liberty first squares off against Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 12 p.m. at the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts. Saturday's matchup will also serve as senior day for Nicola Wellman and Brittany Yang. Following Saturday's bout with the Chanticleers, Liberty squares off against the Presbyterian Blue Hose at 12:30 p.m.
The Lady Flames enter the weekend with a program-best 14-2 record, including a 4-0 conference mark. Liberty currently rides a seven-match win streak, the longest of the season.
In their most recent match, the Lady Flames bested Campbell by a score of 6-1 in Buies Creek, N.C.
In singles play, Liberty is led by freshman Evangeline Crist who boasts a 12-1 singles record this season. The Georgia native has won five consecutive singles matches. Crist also paces the squad in doubles with a 13-3 overall record.
Wellman, Emily Groeneveld, Mariely Hassey and Belen Rivera are all tied for the second most singles wins with nine. Maria Khval and Valerie Thong are all square for the second best doubles record with a 12-4 mark.
Coastal Carolina arrives to Lynchburg with an overall record of 10-4, including a perfect 4-0 conference mark. Since beginning the season 1-4, the Chanticleers have won nine consecutive matches heading into Saturday's contest. In three of the past four contests, Coastal Carolina has blanked its opponents, 7-0, including the Chanticleers most recent 7-0 victory over UNC Asheville in Asheville, N.C. Liberty is 6-13 all-time against Coastal Carolina, including last year's 4-3 victory on March 1 in Conway, S.C.
Presbyterian enters the weekend with an 11-5 overall record despite an 0-3 conference mark. The Blue Hose have a chance to notch their first conference win on Saturday against Longwood at 11 a.m. in Farmville, Va. Presbyterian most recently dropped a 7-0 decision at Charleston Southern in Charleston, S.C. on Tuesday. The Lady Flames hold a 6-1 all-time advantage over Presbyterian on the tennis courts. In the most recent contest, Liberty defeated the Blue Hose by a score of 6-1 on March 30, 2014 in Clinton, S.C.
Wellman currently ranks fifth in all-time singles wins with 54. The Florida native is one win behind teammate Yang and former Lady Flame Jonita Randolph for fourth all-time. Wellman also ranks fifth in career singles winning percentage with .614.
Wellman on Liberty
"The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you. Seeing how the team has both grown mentally and physically stronger has been amazing! I am so proud that I have been a part of this team for four years now. We have definitely gone through lots of adversity but if we never had bumps in our road we wouldn't be as strong as we are today. I am sad and excited for my last Big South tournament coming up in April. I know and believe we can do great things."
Yang entered the season fifth on the career list for all-time singles wins. The Georgia native now has 55 career wins, tying her with Jonita Randolph for third all-time in singles wins. Yang currently ranks seventh in career singles wins percentage with .577. The senior still holds the sixth most successful season in program history when she recorded 21 singles wins a year ago. Yang also ranks fourth all-time in doubles wins with 59 and sixth in doubles winning percentage with .592.
Yang on Liberty
"Seeing myself and the women's tennis program grow these past four years has been truly amazing, and I'm so thankful for my experiences at Liberty. Now I'm ready to take on the world and win Big South for my perfect ring by spring."
Following this weekend's doubleheader, the Lady Flames return to action on Wednesday against Radford at 2 p.m. at the Hershey-Esbenshade Tennis Courts. Wednesday's contest marks the home finale for the 2015 tennis season.
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