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Lady Flames Set for Weekend Matches

January 20, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Set for Weekend Matches

The Liberty women's tennis squad will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio this weekend for a pair of nonconference bouts against Xavier (Friday) and Cincinnati (Saturday).

The Lady Flames are off to a 1-0 start for the third consecutive season, having bested Wofford on Saturday by a score of 6-1 at the Sports Racket in Lynchburg, Va. Liberty swept through doubles competition, followed by a 5-1 victory in singles action.

Liberty will take on Xavier at 6 p.m. Friday followed by Cincinnati at 3 p.m. on Saturday. This weekend marks the first time that the Lady Flames have squared off against either squad.

Xavier enters the weekend with an 0-1 record, recently falling to No. 18 Ohio State by a score of 6-1 on Saturday. The Musketeers finished the 2015 season with an 18-5 overall mark and return seven of nine players from a season ago.

Cincinnati will begin its regular season on Saturday against the Lady Flames. The Bearcats recorded an 8-11 mark during the 2015 regular season. Cincinnati returns eight of nine players from last season, adding two players to the 2016 roster including Bowling Green transfer Harley Hutchison.    

Chasing History
Belen Rivera and Maria Khval continue to climb up the program's all-time singles wins ladder. Rivera currently ranks sixth in all-time in singles wins with 51, while Khval ranks eighth with 48. Valerie Thong continues to improve her rankings in doubles action, having notched 12 victories thus far to move the senior into second most all-time doubles wins in program history with 74. Thong needs just five doubles wins to pass Jordan Jenkins for the most in school history.

Double Trouble
Thong and sophomore Evangeline Crist garnered doubles recognition on Jan. 6, being tabbed the No. 8 regional doubles tandem in the Atlantic Region. The No. 8 ranking marks the second consecutive season that Thong has been a member of a team featured among the Atlantic Region Top 10 doubles squads. Thong and Crist captured 11 doubles wins this past fall, complementing their record-setting 22 doubles wins in the 2015 spring season.

Following this weekend's matchups, the Lady Flames will continue their four-game road swing with a contest on Jan. 30 against Syracuse at 11 a.m. The match will be played in Syracuse, N.Y., at the Drumlins Country Club.