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Soli Splits Pair of Matches Against Ranked Foes on Day 3 of Oracle ITA Masters

September 28, 2019  Malibu, Calif.  RSS
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Soli defeated No. 20 Kawai on Saturday at the Oracle ITA Masters.

Soli defeated No. 20 Kawai on Saturday at the Oracle ITA Masters.

Facing some of the top competition in the country, Liberty women's tennis senior Kalani Soli split a pair of matches on Saturday at the Oracle ITA Masters at the Ralphs-Straus Tennis Center.

"I'm so proud of Kalani's fight and problem solving during the whole tournament," said associate head coach Giancarlo Lemmi. "Beating two conference players of the year is no small feat! I'm looking forward to watching her in Tulsa next week."

After a weather delay on day three, Soli faced off against Illinois' Asuka Kawai, the No. 20-ranked player in the nation. The Carson, Calif., native earned her first career ranked win, taking down Kawai in straight sets (7-5, 6-2) in the consolation draw quarterfinal round. Kawai was an ITA All-American in singles, last spring.

Soli took 57 percent (66-of-115) of the points in the match and outperformed Kawai in every single statistical category.

Soli moved on to face nationally-ranked (No. 63) Iuliia Bryzgalova of Penn in the backdraw semifinals, Saturday evening. The two players each won a set to take the match to a third set, which Bryzgalova prevailed 7-5 in to claim the tightly-contested match 6-4, 4-6, 7-5.

Soli won 53 percent (99-of-187) of the points in the three-set contest and outperformed Bryzgalova in first serve percentage (74 percent to 54 percent), second serve percentage (96 percent to 82 percent), second serve points won (61 percent to 31 percent) and second return points won (69 percent to 39 percent)

The Lady Flames senior finishes the weekend with a 2-2 singles mark at the prestigious tournament which includes seven top-25 players and 17 total ranked players.

Soli will be back in action starting next Saturday at the ITA Women's All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla. The event, hosted at Tulsa's Michael D. Case Tennis Center, will run through Oct. 13. Pre-qualifying will be held Oct. 5-6, followed by qualifying Oct. 7-8 and main draw play Oct. 9-13.

The Lady Flames' next event in which they will send multiple players to (after this weekend's William & Mary ITA Hall of Fame Classic) will be the Liberty Invite, Oct. 12-13 at the Cook Tennis Center.