Seven Liberty players were named to Big South All-Conference teams.
A program-record seven Lady Flames women's tennis players have been selected to all-conference teams, as announced by the Big South Conference office on Tuesday morning prior to the start of the 2018 Big South Women's Tennis Championship.
Liberty juniors Maria Medina and Lara Soares have both been named to the Big South Conference First Team All-Conference Singles list, as well as the First Team All-Conference Doubles list. Junior Ashley Bongart was one of three Lady Flames (along with Medina and Soares) to be named first team all-conference as well.
Junior Rebekah Anderson and freshman Grace Hashiguchi have been named to the Big South Conference Second Team All-Conference Doubles team. Senior captain Evangeline Crist has been voted singles second team all-conference and is also Liberty's representative on the Big South All-Academic team. Finally, junior Anna Dollar garnered inclusion on the all-conference second team for singles.
Liberty led all Big South teams with seven players on the all-conference listings. The Lady Flames posted a 7-1 record in the conference and are the No. 2 seed for the upcoming 2018 Big South Women's Tennis Championship.
Maria Medina Medina, in her first year at Liberty after transferring from State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, posted a 6-2 mark in Big South singles matches, including five straight-set victories. The junior from Venezuela has 21 overall singles triumphs on the year and is on a six-match winning streak entering the Big South Championship. She is 10-3 at No. 2 singles (.769), good for the second-best winning percentage at that position in the league.
In doubles, Medina and her partner Soares won seven of their eight conference doubles matches and are tied for the best winning percentage, .769 (14-5 record at No. 2), among No. 2 pairings in the Big South.
Lara Soares Soares, also in her first year with the Lady Flames after transferring from Southwest Baptist, dominated her competition to the tune of an 8-0 Big South singles mark in the No. 3 slot in head coach Jeff Maren's lineup. The native of Brazil won all eight of those matches in straight sets. Soares is 17-3 overall in spring singles contests, tied for the second-best winning percentage in the conference (.850), and has captured 10 matches in a row.
Soares and her doubles partner Medina are 15-5 overall, this spring, and have won six straight matches and nine of their last 10. They are 18-7 overall since joining forces back in the fall.
Ashley Bongart Bongart, in her first season with Liberty after coming to Liberty from Tennessee, garners the first all-conference distinction of her college career. The native of Bradenton, Fla., has played at the top of the Liberty lineup since conference play began, posting a 6-2 mark in the No. 1 slot. All six of her conference victories came in straight sets. Bongart has a .714 winning percentage at No. 1 singles (10-4 record), third best in the Big South.
Rebekah Anderson The second team all-conference recognition is the first all-conference honor of Anderson's career at Liberty. Anderson and Hashiguchi are 14-2 in doubles play (No. 2 in Big South) this spring after having played zero matches together in the fall. The duo recorded a perfect 7-0 Big South doubles record. In four of those seven victories, Anderson and Hashiguchi won by a 6-2 margin or better.
Anderson, who hails from Fullerton, Calif., leads the squad with 21 doubles victories during her junior campaign and is 16-4 in doubles, this spring.
Grace Hashiguchi Hashiguchi, who was a two-time Big South Freshman of the Week (March 28, April 11) selection, receives the first all-conference distinction of her career. Hashiguchi and Anderson are currently riding an eight-match unbeaten streak and have not lost since March 11. The tandem has three 6-0 victories on the season.
Evangeline Crist It has been a memorable spring for the senior captain, as she became the program's all-time leader in both doubles (April 3 at Longwood) and singles (April 8 vs. Hampton). Crist is now a three-time all-conference singles selection (2016, 2017 and 2018). This spring, she has posted an 18-5 overall singles mark, with most of her matches in the No. 5 slot (11-3 record) and an 8-0 Big South mark (seven coming in straight sets). Overall, Crist is 23-8 in singles play on the year to lead all Lady Flames in victories and has a program-record 90 career wins.
Crist was honored on the Big South All-Academic team for the second time in her career (also in 2016). The Lilburn, Ga., native holds a GPA of 3.90 and will graduate in May with a bachelor's degree in digital marketing and advertising.
Anna Dollar Dollar is now a two-time all-conference singles performer, as she also received second team distinction as a sophomore in 2017. The junior from Lancaster, Pa., went undefeated (6-0) in league matches, winning five of the six in two sets. She is 11-5 overall in spring singles bouts and 6-0 in the No. 6 slot in the lineup.
Winthrop's Lauren Proctor, the 31st-ranked player in the country, received Big South Player of the Year honors for the third time in her career. The Winthrop Eagles' head coach, Cid Carvalho, has been named Big South Women's Tennis Coach of the Year. Campbell's Ana Castillo received Big South Freshman of the Year recognition, while Charleston Southern's Sophie Cloessner garnered Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year distinction.
No. 2 seed Liberty (16-8) will start its quest for a conference title with a 2018 Big South Women's Tennis Championship quarterfinal match versus No. 7 seed UNC Asheville (9-10), Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Rock Hill Tennis Center in Rock Hill, S.C.
2018 Big South Conference Women's Tennis All-Conference and Award Winners First Team All-Conference Singles Lauren Proctor, Jr., Winthrop Alisa Soloveva, Soph., Winthrop Sophie Cloessner, Sr., Charleston Southern Lara Soares, Jr., Liberty Drousile Dzeubou, Soph., Radford Ashley Bongart, Jr., Liberty Maria Medina, Jr., Liberty Lou Regen, Soph., Campbell
First Team All-Conference Doubles Lauren Proctor/Megan Kauffman, Winthrop Lara Soares/Maria Medina, Liberty Alexandra Andrivot/Isabel Boada, Campbell Alisa Soloveva/Tayla Van Eck, Winthrop
Second Team All-Conference Singles Ana Castillo, Fr., Campbell Alexandra Andrivot, Sr., Campbell Evangeline Crist, Sr., Liberty Lotti Meszaros, Fr., Radford Megan Kauffman, Jr., Winthrop Madalina Man, Fr., Charleston Southern Anna Dollar, Jr., Liberty Kylee Shipley, Jr., UNC Asheville
Second Team All-Conference Doubles Sophie Cloessner/Madalina Man, Charleston Southern Rebekah Anderson/Grace Hashiguchi, Liberty Hannah Francisco/Kylee Shipley, UNC Asheville Drousile Dzeubou/Lotti Meszaros, Radford
All-Academic Team Alexandra Nicoara, Soph., Campbell Sophie Cloessner, Sr., Charleston Southern Daniela Naupari, Soph., Gardner-Webb Evangeline Crist, Sr., Liberty Marija Venta, Soph., Longwood Beth Taylor, Soph., Presbyterian College Natalie Sayer, Sr., Radford Emily Sidor, Soph., UNC Asheville Megan Kauffman, Jr., Winthrop
Player of the Year Lauren Proctor, Jr., Winthrop
Freshman of the Year Ana Castillo, Campbell
Coach of the Year Cid Carvalho, Winthrop
Scholar-Athlete of the Year Sophie Cloessner, Sr., Charleston Southern
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