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Liberty's Bongart Reaches Final at Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic

November 3, 2018  Lakewood Ranch, Fla.   RSS
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Bongart will play in tomorrow's singles final.

Bongart will play in tomorrow's singles final.

Liberty senior Ashley Bongart claimed quarterfinal and semifinal wins in the singles main draw on Saturday at the Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic, earning a spot in tomorrow's final held at the Lakewood Ranch Tennis Center.

Bongart and her fellow teammate, senior Lara Soares, both reached the semifinal round at at the highly-acclaimed tournament, the only collegiate clay court tournament in the country.

In the quarterfinals, Bongart knocked off top-seeded Marina Guinart of Oklahoma State, the 73rd-ranked player in the nation, in a thrilling three-set match. Bongart lost the first set 6-0 before taking the second set by a 6-4 score and then winning the third, 1-0 (10-8), to take the match (0-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8).

Bongart then squared off with TCU's Mercedes Aristegui in the semifinals. She defeated Aristegui 6-4, 6-4. Bongart will play tomorrow for a title in Lakewood Ranch, a town just southeast of her hometown of Bradenton, Fla. It will be an all-Virginia final tomorrow, as she will square off with the Virginia Tech Hokies' Natalie Novotna.

Bongart is 10-3 this fall in singles. Her victory over Aristegui was the 50th singles triumph of her college career (33 at Liberty, 17 at Tennessee).

Novotna, the No. 32-ranked player in the country, defeated the Lady Flames' Soares 6-4, 7-5 in the other semifinal. Soares won her first match of the day in straight sets versus Evelyne Tiron of USF, 6-1, 6-3.

Soares is also 10-3 in singles during her final fall campaign.

In doubles play, Bongart and Soares dropped their quarterfinal bout, losing to UCF's Ksenia Kuznetsova and Natalia Serrano 8-2.

In two days at the Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic, Bongart and Soares hold a combined 8-2 record.

The third and final day of play at the Lakewood Ranch Tennis Center will begin on Sunday morning at 9 a.m.