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Liberty Women's Tennis Gets Past Marshall, 5-2, on Thursday

April 12, 2018  Huntington, W.Va.  RSS
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Dollar picked up the match-clinching fourth point for Liberty on Thursday at Marshall.

Dollar picked up the match-clinching fourth point for Liberty on Thursday at Marshall.

In its 2018 regular-season finale, visiting Liberty bested Marshall, 5-2, in women's tennis, Thursday afternoon at the Brian David Fox Tennis Center.

Liberty has now won six straight matches and closes the regular season with a 16-8 mark and 7-1 record in the Big South. The win was the Lady Flames' first-ever victory over the Herd in six tries. The victory also marked the second-most regular-season wins in program history, behind only the 2015 team (18 wins).

Marshall falls to 3-18 and has dropped six of its last seven contests.

"I believe that this was the windiest match I have ever been a part of. Lots of adversity to overcome today with the weather and a good opponent," stated Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren. "I'm so proud of their efforts and mindset today. I believe we are as ready as we can be for next week. To God be the glory!"

On a day which featured wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour, the Lady Flames showed their resilience in both doubles and singles. Starting with doubles, Liberty faced a potential sweep after losing the No. 1 match and facing set points on both courts two and two. The Lady Flames staved off defeat in both matches, sealing doubles in a tiebreaker on court three.

Court one's match went to Stephanie Smith and Maddie Silver of Marshall, a 6-3 decision versus Evangeline Crist and Anna Dollar of Liberty.

Liberty's Maria Medina and Lara Soares trailed, 5-4, to Anna Smith and Marija Bogicevic of the Herd (No. 2 doubles) and faced a set point but came back to take the match, 7-5.

Rebekah Anderson and Grace Hashiguchi also faced a set point in their No. 3 doubles match with Ana Marhuenda and Brooke Lashway. The duo managed to keep match alive and eventually won in a thrilling tiebreaker, 7-6 (8).

Soares (Liberty) continued her string of excellent play, defeating the Herd's Anna Smith at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-1, for a 2-0 Liberty lead. Soares closes her first regular season as a Lady Flame with a 17-3 spring singles mark and has now won 10 consecutive matches.

Marshall's first point of the day came from Stephanie Smith, a 6-2, 6-3 winner over the Lady Flames' Ashley Bongart on court one. Bogicevic of the Herd then went on to take down Liberty's Polina Miroshnichenko (6-2, 7-5) in straight sets in the No. 4 bout. Smith and Bogicevic's match victories evened the score at 2-2.

Liberty claimed the final three matches (No. 5, No. 6, No. 2) for the 5-2 victory. In the No. 5 singles match, Crist prevailed in two sets (6-4, 6-4) versus her opponent, Marhuenda. The Liberty captain has now won 13 straight singles matches and is 18-5 overall in spring singles.

Crist's doubles partner, Dollar, needed three sets to defeat Lashway on court six, 6-3, 4-6, 6-1. Dollar's match-clinching fourth point bolstered the visitors' lead to 4-2.

The Lady Flames' fifth and final point came from Medina in a three-set triumph over Silver (6-0, 4-6, 6-1) in the No. 2 singles bout.

Liberty will now wait for the seeding release from the conference for the 2018 Big South Women's Tennis Championship, which will come out on either Saturday night or Sunday morning. The four-day tournament will take place from next Wednesday through Saturday at Winthrop's Memorial Courts in Rock Hill, S.C.

Liberty 5, Marshall 2
Singles competition

1. Stephanie Smith (MAR) def. BONGART, Ashley (LIBERTYW) 6-2, 6-3
2. MEDINA, Maria (LIBERTYW) def. Maddie Silver (MAR) 6-0, 4-6, 6-1
3. SOARES, Lara (LIBERTYW) def. Anna Smith (MAR) 6-2, 6-1
4. Marija Bogicevic (MAR) def. MIROSHNICHENKO, P. (LIBERTYW) 6-2, 7-5
5. CRIST, Evangeline (LIBERTYW) def. Ana Marhuenda (MAR) 6-4, 6-4
6. DOLLAR, Anna (LIBERTYW) def. Brooke Lashway (MAR) 6-3, 4-6, 6-1

Doubles competition
1. Stephanie Smith/Maddie Silver (MAR) def. CRIST, Evangeline/DOLLAR, Anna (LIBERTYW) 6-3
2. MEDINA, Maria/SOARES, Lara (LIBERTYW) def. Anna Smith/Marija Bogicevic (MAR) 7-5
3. ANDERSON, Rebekah/HASHIGUCHI, Grace (LIBERTYW) def. Ana Marhuenda/Brooke Lashway (MAR) 7-6

Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (3,1,4,5,6,2) T-3:15