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Lady Flames Win 3rd Straight, Defeat Troy 7-0

February 11, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Medina earned a three-set victory on Sunday against Troy.

Medina earned a three-set victory on Sunday against Troy.

Liberty women's tennis won its second match of the weekend and third straight overall with a dominating 7-0 effort against visiting Troy, Sunday at Crosswhite Athletic Club.

The 7-0 victory was the Lady Flames' first of 2018 and first since last year's season opener against Big South foe Longwood (Feb. 1, 2017).

Liberty improves to 3-3, while Troy is now 0-4 on the season.

The Lady Flames started the morning by winning the doubles point for a third consecutive match.

Liberty juniors Maria Media and Lara Soares decisively defeated the Trojans' Efriliya Herlina and Jiayuan Xue, 6-1.

The No. 3 duo of Rebekah Anderson and Grace Hashiguchi improved to 3-0 as a pairing with a 6-3 win over Pei Ju Hsieh and Marilyne Mihaljevic, 6-3. The Liberty tandem trailed, 3-1, but claimed the last five games for the victory, which provided the hosts a 1-0 lead in the match.

Lady Flames junior Ashley Bongart bumped the home lead to 2-0 with her 6-1, 6-2 triumph against Herlina on court two. The Bradenton, Fla, native improves to 12-4 overall in singles, this season.

Dollar took care of business on court three, winning in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) versus Troy's Xue. Dollar led, 5-4, in both sets and served her way to victory in each instance. The junior's victory made the score 3-0 in favor of the Lady Flames.

Court one's match between Medina and Sanae Ohta featured three competitive sets. In the first set, which was tied, 4-4, Medina trailed 15-40 before clawing back to win the game on a deuce point. Up 5-4 and serving, the Venezuela native won another deuce point, taking the first set 6-4.

In the second set, Ohta trailed Medina, 5-4, but won the next three games, forcing a decisive third set. Leading 3-2, the Liberty junior forced came back from a 40-15 deficit to win the game and go ahead, 4-2. Looking to close out the match with a 5-3 lead, she trailed, 40-30, but broke Ohta's serve to seal the match victory, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3.

Medina's win clinched the match for the Lady Flames, making it 4-0.

Liberty's Soares gritted through a tough three-set bout against Mihaljevic in the No. 4 singles matchup, ultimately prevailing, 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-4). The junior appeared on her way to a two-set victory, but Mihaljevic erased a 5-2 second-set deficit to force a third set.

The Troy freshman led, 2-0, in the third-set 10-point tiebreaker as well. However, Soares evened the tiebreaker at 2-2 with a backhand winner into an open court and then won eight of the next 10 points for the 6-3, 5-7, 1-0 (10-4) triumph. The Brazil native's victory gave Liberty a five-point lead (5-0).

The final two matches (Crist (Liberty) vs. Hsieh (Troy) and Polina Miroshnichenko (Liberty) vs. Maria Casas Blas (Troy)) both featured tiebreakers won by the Lady Flames. Crist's tiebreaker came in the second set, in which she prevailed, 7-5, to claim the match on court five (6-3, 7-6 (5)).

Crist has now won 75 singles matches over her storied four-year Liberty career.

Meanwhile, Miroshnichenko and Blas (No. 6 singles) each took a set before settling the match in a third-set 10-point tiebreaker. The Liberty freshman outlasted Blas, 11-9, giving the Lady Flames the 7-0 victory with her 3-6, 6-3, 1-0 (11-9) win.

Liberty will play later this afternoon against Shaw. First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Crosswhite Athletic Club.