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Women's Tennis Fall 2018 Season Recap

December 27, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Alan York of LFSN recently touched base with Lady Flames tennis head coach Jeff Maren to discuss his team's fall 2018 season.

Liberty competed at eight different tournaments in the fall. The Lady Flames hosted the ITA Atlantic Regional, Oct. 12-16 at the Cook Tennis Center, marking the second time the program has hosted the event (other: 2015).

The Lady Flames will begin their spring slate at Wake Forest, last year's 27th-ranked team in the country at season's end. The first 2019 Oracle/Division I Women's Rankings will be unveiled on Jan. 9. The Lady Flames' first home match of the new year will be on Feb. 2 versus the Navy Midshipmen.

Liberty's inaugural ASUN Conference dual match will take place on March 17 at Florida Gulf Coast.

2018 Fall Season Highlights

  • Fall title winners for the Lady Flames included seniors Maria Medina (singles at Hokie Fall Invite, Sept. 30 and singles at UNLV Rebel Invite, Nov. 11) and Lara Soares (singles at Hokie Fall Invite, Sept. 30), along with junior Kalani Soli (singles at Elon Fall Invitational, Oct. 27).
  • Soares, the team captain, garnered a No. 64 national rankings in singles on Nov. 14, the highest for any Lady Flame in program history. The native of Sobradinho, Brazil enjoyed a successful fall in which she posted 11 singles victories, two of which came over current top-125 opponents.
  • Senior Ashley Bongart reached the singles final at the prestigious Dick Vitale Intercollegiate Clay Court Classic, Nov. 2-4 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. In addition to her success on the court (4-1 singles record at the tournament) in front of a home crowd which featured a win over No. 73 Marina Guinart of Oklahoma State. The Bradenton, Fla., native also had the unique opportunity to interview tournament host and renowned college basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale.
  • Soares became the only Lady Flames player in school history to reach the round of 16 in the singles main draw at the ITA Atlantic Regional. The senior was the No. 13 seed at the tournament and posted a 2-1 singles record.
  • Collectively, the Flames were a combined 61-29 (.678) in fall singles and 30-19 (.612) in doubles. Seven of Liberty's nine players posted a .500 or better singles winning percentage, led by Medina's .917 (11-1 record) winning percentage. In doubles, Medina and Soares posted the best record at 6-2, with Maren trying 12 different doubles pairings in the fall.