The Liberty women's tennis squad opened the 2016 season with a 6-1 victory over the Wofford Terriers on Saturday afternoon at the Sports Racket in Lynchburg, Va.
The Lady Flames recorded their third consecutive season-opening victory, improving to 6-10 all-time in season openers and 2-2 all-time against Wofford. Liberty bested Wofford, 6-1, a year ago today to begin the 2015 spring campaign.
Liberty, which posted a 52-18 overall doubles record in 2015, picked up where they left off last season. The Lady Flames swept the doubles point, securing the 1-0 tally from the No. 3 doubles slot.
Maria Khval and Anna Dollar notched a 6-1 victory over Cassidy Hicks and Mareli Sanchez in the No. 2 doubles position. Emily Groeneveld and newcomer Rebekah Anderson clinched the doubles point following a 6-3 victory over Taylor Carlson and Catherine Martin. Evangeline Crist and Valerie Thong played up to their No. 8 regional ranking, besting Kalli Karas and Lauren Reid, 6-4.
Crist picked up where she left off a season ago in singles play, quickly extended the Liberty lead to 2-0 following her 6-1, 6-0 victory over Carlson in the No. 5 singles position. The Georgia sophomore recorded 25 singles wins during the 2014-15 season, ranking second most in a single season in program history.
Belen Rivera edged the Lady Flames one point closer to the victory, securing a straight-set victory over Martin, 6-3, 6-1.
Newcomer, Dollar, clinched the season-opening victory for the red and blue. The freshman defeated Karas in the first set, 6-4, followed by a 6-3 victory in the second set.
With the match secure, Liberty collected two wins in the final three matches. Khval won in the No. 2 singles position, downing Hicks in three sets by a score of 6-2, 2-6, 6-0.
The lone Wofford point came in the No. 4 singles position as Reid bested Anderson in three sets, 5-7, 6-2, 10-5.
Mariely Hassey added one more victory for good measure, blanking Sanchez in the No. 6 singles slot by a score of 6-0, 6-0 to secure the 6-1 victory.
The Lady Flames return to action on Friday when they begin their four-game road swing with a 6 p.m. contest against Xavier in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Liberty 6, Wofford 1 Doubles