The Liberty Lady Flames received 2019 ITA All-Academic Team distinction and featured four ITA Scholar-Athlete honorees.
2018-19 ITA All-Academic Teams & Scholar-Athletes - Division I Women
The Liberty Lady Flames tennis squad received 2019 Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Team distinction and featured four ITA Scholar-Athlete honorees.
The ITA All-Academic Team award consists of programs which maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.20 or above during the 2018-19 school year. This is the seventh straight year Liberty has been named an ITA All-Academic Team. The Lady Flames posted a 3.36 GPA this past school year and are maintaining a 3.39 cumulative team GPA.
Liberty seniors Ashley Bongart, Anna Dollar and Lara Soares, along with sophomore Grace Hashiguchi, were each named ITA Scholar-Athlete recipients.
In order to earn ITA Scholar-Athlete recognition, a player must be a varsity letter winner, have a GPA of 3.50 or above for the current academic year and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.
This year, the ITA saw an increase in qualifying teams and scholar-athletes, with 940 squads receiving all-academic team distinction.
Ashley Bongart Bongart is now a two-time ITA Scholar-Athlete recipient, earning the distinction in both of her years in Lynchburg. The Bradenton, Fla., native earned a 3.90 GPA in 2018-19 and graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in digital media. She finished her career with a 3.85 cumulative GPA and also earned ASUN All-Academic team honors this spring.
On the tennis court, Bongart earned her first career national singles rankings, No. 107, on Feb. 20 and also closed the year as the 11th-ranked singles player in the Atlantic Region. The senior captured 19 singles matches and 20 doubles matches during her final season in Lynchburg. Bongart and her doubles partner, Anna Dollar, collected 18 victories against just eight losses on the year.
Anna Dollar This is Dollar's first time being named to the ITA Scholar-Athlete listing. She earned a 3.62 GPA this past academic year and graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in business administration: marketing analytics.
The Lancaster, Pa., native enjoyed a successful final season for Liberty, posting 20 singles wins and 19 doubles victories. Dollar held 14-4 mark in spring singles bouts and won six of her seven ASUN matches. During the middle of the spring season (Feb. 23-April 4), the senior captured 10 straight singles bouts.
Grace Hashiguchi Hashiguchi is being included on the listing for a second straight year. The sophomore achieved a 3.78 GPA in 2018-19 and is currently sporting a 3.76 cumulative GPA. She intends on majoring in mathematics.
Hashiguchi delivered 13 doubles victories and 11 singles wins during her second year at Liberty. The Lynchburg, Va., native posted a 10-3 doubles record with partner Kalani Soli. The duo was 8-2 at No. 2 singles in the spring. In singles, she posted an 8-4 mark in the spring, including a 3-1 record in ASUN competition.
Lara Soares Soares, the Lady Flames' team captain this year, garners scholar-athlete distinction for the first time in her Liberty career. The senior graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies. She had a 3.92 GPA in 2018-19 and wrapped up her career with a 3.76 cumulative GPA and ASUN All-Academic team distinction.
The Sobradinho, Brazil, native earned VaSID All-State singles second team honors in her final season in Lynchburg. Soares and her doubles partner, Maria Medina, were recognized as a VaSID All-State doubles second team and also finished their careers as the 10th-ranked doubles unit in the Atlantic Region.
In singles, Soares garnered a No. 64 national ranking on Nov. 14, the best mark of any player in program history. She finished the year with 19 singles victories and won the last six matches of her career. In doubles, Soares claimed 22 total matches, including a 19-6 mark (13-4 No. 1 doubles) with Medina.
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