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Soli Goes 1-1 on Opening Day of ITA Women's All-American Championships

October 5, 2019  Tulsa, Okla.  RSS
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Soli won one match on Saturday at the ITA All-American Championships.

Soli won one match on Saturday at the ITA All-American Championships.

Liberty women's tennis senior Kalani Soli went 1-1 on the first day of competition at the 2019 ITA Women's All-American Championships on Saturday. Both matches Soli played in were held at the Case Tennis Center at LaFortune Park.

"Kalani played really well today! She controlled her first match and played with incredible fight and composure in her second match against an outstanding opponent. It couldn't have been any closer," said Lady Flames head coach Jeff Maren. "These past two weeks will definitely build her confidence for the next few fall events."

In her opening match on Saturday morning, Soli defeated Memphis' Katherine Cao in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. The win sent her to the next round of pre-qualifying and set up a showdown with Malkia Ngounoue of Kansas. Ngounoue and her doubles partner Maria Toran Ribes are currently the No. 56-ranked duo in the country in the Oracle/ITA Division I Women's Rankings.

Following a weather delay, Soli and Ngounoue battled on the court for three hours, with the Kansas sophomore prevailing in three sets, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4. Soli saved seven match points during the bout but came up just short.

With no backdraw matches at the prestigious event featuring the best players in college tennis, Soli's time in the tournament ended with Saturday's loss. The Carson, Calif., native is now 3-3 with one ranked victory in singles competition on the year against elite competition at the ITA All-American Championships and at the Oracle ITA Masters (last weekend in Malibu, Calif.).

The next tournament the Lady Flames will play in is the Liberty Invite, next Saturday and Sunday at the Cook Tennis Center. Liberty, Navy, Delaware and Campbell will compete in the Lady Flames' only home tournament, this fall.