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Winthrop Tops Liberty, 5-2, in Battle for First Place in Big South

April 1, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The Lady Flames fell to the Eagles, 5-2, on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C.

The Lady Flames fell to the Eagles, 5-2, on Saturday in Rock Hill, S.C.

In a battle of two unbeaten Big South teams on Saturday, Winthrop prevailed, 5-2, over Liberty at Memorial Courts.

The Lady Flames drop to 8-10 overall and 5-1 in the Big South, while Winthrop is now 16-4 and 7-0 in Big South competition.

"We lost to a good team today. They outplayed us on a handful of key points, but other than that, the match was even and could have gone either way," stated Liberty Head Women's Tennis Coach Jeff Maren.

Winthrop took control of the match early by winning the doubles point. The Eagles' Aida Kelic and Alya Mourad topped Rebekah Anderson and Eugenia Camacho, 6-3, on court three. In the No. 2 doubles matchup between Liberty's Mariely Hassey and Emily Groeneveld and Caitlin Cridland and Alisa Soloveva, the Winthrop duo emerged victorious, 6-4. Cridland and Soloveva's victory put the home side ahead, 1-0.

The Lady Flames' top doubles team, Evangeline Crist and Anna Dollar won, 7-5, over Lauren Proctor and Megan Kaufmann.

The Eagles captured four of six singles matches for the overall victory. Winthrop won on courts one and two to build a 3-0 lead. On court one, Proctor upended Anderson, 6-2, 6-4, while Soloveva defeated Crist, 6-1, 6-3 on court two.

In the No. 6 singles match, Camacho won her third straight match with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over the Eagles' Mourad, cutting the Liberty deficit to 3-1.

Two of the final three matches went to Winthrop. In the No. 3 match, Cridland needed three sets to defeat Dollar, 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. The Winthrop redshirt senior's victory gave the Eagles the deciding point and a 4-1 lead.

Groeneveld delivered Liberty's second point of the day on court five, defeating Kelic, 7-6, 6-4. In the No. 4 match between Hassey and Kauffman, the two players traded sets before Kaufmann won the third set, 6-3, and the match, 7-6, 2-6, 6-3. Kelic's victory settled the final score at 5-2 in favor of Winthrop.

"We always learn from these matches and get better as a result, so I'm thankful that we've had the opportunity to play in so many of these kinds of battles this year. It will make us stronger as we move closer to our goal," Maren said.

Liberty will play non-conference matches at James Madison (Tuesday) and Charlotte (Thursday), next week.