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No. 3 Liberty Knocks off No. 6 Campbell, 4-1, in Big South Quarterfinals

April 21, 2017  Winston-Salem, N.C.  RSS
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No. 3 Liberty topped No. 6 Campbell, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship on Friday.

No. 3 Liberty topped No. 6 Campbell, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship on Friday.

The third-seeded Liberty Lady Flames bested the sixth-seeded Campbell Camels, 4-1, in Friday afternoon's quarterfinals of the 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.

With the victory, Liberty (12-11) advances to tomorrow's semifinals and will face No. 2 Charleston Southern (16-2) at 9 a.m., while Campbell's (8-13) season comes to an end. CSU defeated No. 7 seed Presbyterian, 4-0, earlier in the day on Friday.

The Lady Flames took both matches from the Camels, this season, and now hold a 9-3 edge in the all-time series.

"We were a little bit shaky today, but the girls did a marvelous job of playing with grit against a very good Campbell team," said Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren. "Hats off to David [Johnson] and his girls for a great season!"

Liberty began the day by winning the doubles point from the Camels. In the No. 1 match, Liberty's Rebekah Anderson and Eugenia Camacho built a 3-0 lead against Alexandra Andrivot and Isabel Boada on the way to a 6-2 victory.

The Camels' No. 2 and No. 3 pairings led their matches early, before the Lady Flames came roaring back. Liberty's winningest duo, Evangeline Crist and Anna Dollar, erased an early 3-2 deficit, claiming four of the final five games for a 6-4 victory on court two over Lea Cutura and Pauline Roustan. The victory, the 75th doubles triumph of Crist's career, provided No. 3 Liberty with a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the No. 3 match between Lady Flames seniors Mariely Hassey and Emily Groeneveld and the Camels' Nina Asinin and Georgina Segarra, the Campbell duo led 3-1 early on. The Camels led 5-4 and had two match points, but Hassey and Groeneveld staved off defeat to tie the match, 5-5. The seniors led, 40-0, in the next game, before the match was called due to Crist and Dollar's doubles-clinching victory.

Groeneveld won for the eighth time in her last nine matches, requiring two sets to defeat Roustan in the No. 5 singles bout, the first singles contest completed. The senior's victory, the 17th of her senior campaign, provided the Lady Flames an early 2-0 edge.

Liberty's other senior, Hassey, won her team-best 19th singles match of 2016-17. She also needed just two sets to knock off Boada (6-1, 6-2) in the No. 4 singles flight. The Surprise, Az., native's 68th career singles victory in a Lady Flames uniform, a match in which she never trailed, gave No. 3 seed Liberty a firm 3-0 lead.

Campbell picked up its lone point of the afternoon on court one. Andrivot topped Anderson, 7-5, 6-2, to stave off elimination and trimming the Liberty lead to 3-1.

Crist dominated her first set with Cutura, 6-0, in the No. 2 match, but required more work in set two. Leading 6-5 in the set and facing a deuce point, Crist won the point, as Cutura's final shot sailed long. The Lilburn, Ga., native's 6-0, 7-5 victory sealed the match for the Lady Flames and settled the final score at 4-1.

The two unfinished matches were on courts three and six. On court three, Dollar fell, 6-1, in the first set to Alexandra Nicoara but took the second set, 6-3, and led, 5-1, in the third set.

Camacho bested Asinin, 7-5, in set one before trailed, 5-1, in set two when the match was halted.

"Today was a great win because it set the tone for the rest of the tournament. We were all able to get our nerves out and momentum going for a great day tomorrow," Hassey stated.

First serve for tomorrow's match vs. Charleston Southern is slated for 9 a.m on courts 7-12 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex. The Lady Flames defeated the Bucs, 4-3, last Friday in Lynchburg, giving CSU its only Big South loss. Liberty, CSU and Winthrop shared the conference's regular-season title with 7-1 marks in league play.

No. 1 Winthrop (17-5) and No. 5 UNC Asheville (11-9) will face each other in the other semifinal matchup on courts 1-6 at 9 a.m. Winthrop topped No. 8 seed Longwood, 4-0, on Friday morning, while Asheville upended No. 4 Gardner-Webb, 4-1, Friday afternoon.