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Lady Flames Tennis Wins Road Match, 6-1, at Charleston Southern

March 24, 2018  Charleston, S.C.  RSS
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Bongart won her singles match on Saturday at CSU in helping the Lady Flames to a 6-1 victory.

Bongart won her singles match on Saturday at CSU in helping the Lady Flames to a 6-1 victory.

Liberty women's tennis defeated Charleston Southern, 6-1, on Saturday at the Buccaneer Tennis Complex.

The Lady Flames (8-7) are now 2-0 in the Big South and one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the conference (Winthrop, 4-0). CSU (8-5) has now dropped two straight in conference, falling to 4-2 in the league.

Saturday marked the first time that Liberty has ever won on the road at Charleston Southern. The Lady Flames won the doubles point and five of six singles matches. Ashley Bongart (No. 1), Maria Medina (No. 2), Lara Soares (No. 3), Evangeline Crist (No. 5) and Anna Dollar were the five players to win their respective solo bouts on Saturday.

"The girls played very well today against a strong CSU team. We had to play with poise and accuracy and were able to do it in doubles and singles," stated Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren. "We are looking forward to raising our games again tomorrow. To God be the glory."

In doubles, Liberty's Medina and Soares got past the Buccaneers' Valeria Kouseenkova and Filippa Ericson, 6-2, in the first match to be completed. CSU's Sophie Cloessner and Madalina Man won by the same 6-2 count shortly after over Crist and Dollar.

The Lady Flames' Rebekah Anderson and Grace Hashiguchi proved to be the difference-making unit, toppling the Bucs' Yana Morar and Kimberly Koerner, 6-3. Anderson and Hashiguchi, who are now 7-2 as a unit this spring, gave Liberty the 1-0 lead and momentum heading into singles.

Playing in the No. 6 spot for the first time this season, Dollar handled her foe, Morar, in straight sets (6-2, 6-2). The win made it 2-0, Lady Flames. Soares (Liberty) followed up Dollar's performance by closing out a 6-1, 6-3 win of her own versus Ericson (CSU) on court three to make it 3-0. She has now won three straight and is 10-3 in spring singles matches.

After resting during doubles, Lady Flames junior Ashley Bongart left no doubt about the outcome of the match by knocking off Cloessner, 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 1 singles match, handing the CSU senior only her third singles loss of the spring. Bongart's triumph, her team-best 17th singles win of the season, sealed the outcome of the match and kept the shutout alive (4-0).

Man (CSU) ended the shutout by winning in two sets (7-5, 6-4) over the Lady Flames' Polina Miroshnichenko for CSU's only point of the day.      

However, Crist (No. 6 singles) and Medina (No. 2 singles) each delivered three-set wins over their counterparts to close the score at 6-1, Lady Flames. Crist knocked off Koerner, 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5), while Medina upended Koussenkova in comeback fashion, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Liberty will have a quick turnaround, as they play at Presbyterian (7-7, 1-3 Big South) on Sunday. First serve is slated for noon at the Templeton Tennis Courts in Clinton, S.C.

Liberty 6, Charleston Southern 1
Singles competition

1. BONGART, Ashley (LIBERTYW) def. CLOESSNER, Sophie (CSU-W) 6-3, 6-0
2. MEDINA, Maria (LIBERTYW) def. KOUSSENKOVA, Valeria (CSU-W) 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
3. SOARES, Lara (LIBERTYW) def. ERICSON, Filippa (CSU-W) 6-1, 6-3
4. MAN, Madalina (CSU-W) def. MIROSHNICHENKO, P. (LIBERTYW) 7-5, 6-4
5. CRIST, Evangeline (LIBERTYW) def. KOERNER, Kimberley (CSU-W) 6-1, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5)
6. DOLLAR, Anna (LIBERTYW) def. MORAR, Yana (CSU-W) 6-2, 6-2

Doubles competition
1. CLOESSNER, Sophie/MAN, Madalina (CSU-W) def. CRIST, Evangeline/DOLLAR, Anna (LIBERTYW) 6-2
2. MEDINA, Maria/SOARES, Lara (LIBERTYW) def. KOUSSENKOVA, Valeria/ERICSON, Filippa (CSU-W) 6-2
3. ANDERSON, Rebekah/HASHIGUCHI, Grace (LIBERTYW) def. MORAR, Yana/KOERNER, Kimberley (CSU-W) 6-3

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1,3); Singles (6,3,1,4,5,2) Official: D Bailey/A Gift