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Liberty Wins First Road Match of Season, 4-3 at Navy

February 1, 2020  Annapolis, Md.   RSS
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Almborg and the Lady Flames (3-1) topped Navy 4-3 on the road, Saturday.

Almborg and the Lady Flames (3-1) topped Navy 4-3 on the road, Saturday.

The Liberty women's tennis team handed the Navy Midshipmen their first loss of the season, a 4-3  final on Saturday morning at the Tose Family Tennis Center.

The Lady Flames are now 3-1 this season and have won back-to-back matches. This is Liberty's best four-game start to a spring campaign since the 2015 season, when the Lady Flames also opened the year by winning three of their first four matches.

Navy falls to 4-1 after suffering its first setback of the season. Liberty has now defeated the Midshipmen each of the past two seasons in what were the first two all-time meetings between the two squads.

The two teams split the six singles matches, but the Lady Flames captured the doubles point, which proved to be the difference maker in the contest.

Liberty 4, Navy 3   

Singles Competition
1. Kalani Soli (LIBERTYW) def. Hodge, Kaylah (NAVY) 6-0, 6-4
2. Alexandra Almborg (LIBERTYW) def. Moore, Kacey (NAVY) 6-1, 5-7, 6-0
3. Komarraju, Meghana (NAVY) def. Tiffany Nguyen (LIBERTYW) 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (9-7), 1-0 (10-5)
4. Klopfer, Annalise (NAVY) def. Esther Lovato (LIBERTYW) 6-2, 6-4
5. Micaela Ode Mitre (LIBERTYW) def. #114 Choi, Samantha (NAVY) 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
6. Corpuz, Katreina (NAVY) def. Eloise Saraty (LIBERTYW) 6-3, 6-1

Doubles Competition
1. Eloise Saraty/Kalani Soli (LIBERTYW) def. Corpuz, Katreina/Komarraju, Meghana (NAVY) 6-1
2. Tiffany Nguyen/Micaela Ode Mitre (LIBERTYW) def. Dervishian, Aimee/Klopfer, Annalise (NAVY) 6-3
3. Cyr, Amanda/Hodge, Kaylah (NAVY) def. Alexandra Almborg/Grace Hashiguchi (LIBERTYW) 6-1

Liberty 3-1
Navy 4-1
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (6,1,4,5,2,3)
T-3:24 A-25

Thoughts From Head Coach Jeff Maren
"Navy pushed us to our limits today. They are a well-coached team with great mental fortitude, so we had to raise our games at the right time in order to get the win. These types of matches will make us stronger and prepare us for our next challenge. To God be the glory!"

How It Happened
• The Lady Flames won the doubles point for a third time this season. Liberty claimed the No. 1 and 2 doubles matches to secure the first overall point in the match. After Navy's Amanda Cyr and Kaylah Hodge topped Liberty's Alexandra Almborg and Grace Hashiguchi 6-1 in the No. 3 slot, the Lady Flames' Kalani Soli and Eloise Saraty evened the doubles session with a 6-1 triumph versus Katreina Corpuz and Meghana Kommaraju on court one.
• Soli and Saraty are now a perfect 4-0 in spring doubles matches, holding a 2-0 record in the No. 1 position and a 2-0 mark in the No. 2 slot in the lineup.
• Doubles was decided on court two, with Liberty's freshmen duo of Tiffany Nguyen and Micaela Ode Mitre putting the visitors ahead 1-0 with a 6-3 decision over Aimee Dervishian and Annalise Klopfer. The Lady Flames' pairing is now 3-1 in spring competition and leads all Liberty doubles teams with nine victories (fall and spring combined).
• Navy evened up the match at 1-1 with a 6-3, 6-1 victory from Corpuz over Saraty in the No. 6 slot. However, the Lady Flames regained the lead shortly after, as Soli topped Hodge in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4. The Liberty senior is now 4-0 in the No. 1 singles position and has captured 18 straight spring singles matches, dating back to the 2019 campaign.
• Navy's Klopfer once again brought the Midshipmen even (2-2) with her two-set victory over her counterpart, Lady Flames freshman Esther Lovato, on court four. The loss was Lovato's first singles setback of the spring.
• Liberty sophomore Micaela Ode Mitre put the visitors ahead 3-2 with a three-set win (6-1, 4-6, 6-4) versus a nationally-ranked foe, No. 114 Samantha Choi of Navy, on court five. It was the first career ranked victory for the Lady Flames freshman.
• Shortly after Ode Mitre closed out her match, Liberty No. 2 player Almborg bested Moore of the Midshipmen to secure the team victory. The two players traded sets, but Almborg dominated the final set 6-0 for a 6-1, 5-7, 6-0 win which put the Lady Flames ahead 4-2. The Lady Flames sophomore is now 4-0 at No. 2 singles, this spring.
• In the final match on court (No. 3 singles), Komarraju (Navy) edged Nguyen (Liberty) 6-7 (6), 7-6 (7), 1-0 (5). Komaaraju's win settled the final score at 4-3 in favor of Liberty.
• Saturday's victory was Liberty's first win in a road opener since the 2012 season. The Lady Flames are 1-0 at home, 1-1 in neutral site matches and 1-0 on the road this season.

Next Up
• Liberty will head to Florida for a pair of matches next weekend at Florida International and Florida Atlantic. The Lady Flames will take on the FIU Panthers on Friday at noon, followed by a Feb. 9 match against the FAU Owls.
• Liberty is 2-0 against Florida Atlantic and 0-1 in the all-time series with Florida International.