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Liberty Falls to VCU in Midweek Home Match

April 7, 2021  Lynchburg. Va.   RSS
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The Liberty women's tennis team saw its four-match winning streak halted with a 7-0 setback to visiting VCU, Wednesday afternoon at the Liberty Tennis Complex.

Both teams carried four-match winning streaks into today's contest, but it was VCU who emerged with the non-conference sweep and improved to 11-7 on the season. Liberty falls to 16-5 and suffers its first home loss (8-1) of the year.

Wednesday's match was the Lady Flames' fourth home match in the last seven days. Liberty posted a 3-1 record during that stretch.  

VCU 7, Liberty 0

Singles Competition
1. Paola Diaz Delgado (VCU) def. Alexandra Almborg (LIBERTYW) 6-3, 6-1
2. Luminita Tutunaru (VCU) def. Tiffany Nguyen (LIBERTYW) 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)
3. Alessia Ciuca (VCU) def. Esther Lovato (LIBERTYW) 0-6, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 (10-8)
4. Gabriela Davidescu (VCU) def. Micaela Ode Mitre (LIBERTYW) 6-3, 6-1
5. Noumea Witmus (VCU) def. Eloise Saraty (LIBERTYW) 6-2, 6-3
6. Shivani Manjanna (VCU) def. Grace Hashiguchi (LIBERTYW) 6-7 (6-8), 6-1, 1-0 (10-5)

Doubles Competition
1. Luminita Tutunaru/Gabriela Davidescu (VCU) def. Alexandra Almborg/Eloise Saraty (LIBERTYW) 7-5
2. #77 Noumea Witmus/Paola Diaz Delgado (VCU) def. Tiffany Nguyen/Micaela Ode Mitre (LIBERTYW) 6-4
3. Grace Hashiguchi/Esther Lovato (LIBERTYW) vs. Alessia Ciuca/Shivani Manjanna (VCU) 6-5, unfinished

VCU 11-7
Liberty 16-5

Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (5,1,4,2,3,6)
Official: R Sanders/J Conley T-3:02

How It Happened
• VCU won a tightly-contested doubles session with victories on courts two and one. The Rams' nationally-ranked duo, No. 77 Noumea Witmus and Paola Diaz Delgado, topped the Lady Flames' Tiffany Nguyen and Micaela Ode Mitre 6-4. Witmus and Diaz Delgado won a deuce point with the match tied 4-4 and went on to take the victory in the next game as well.
• In the No. 1 doubles match, Liberty's Alexandra Almborg and Eloise Saraty were tied 5-5 with Luminita Tutunaru and Gabriela Davidescu. The VCU duo won a crucial doubles point as well to take a 6-5 lead and eventually win the match 7-5.
• The No. 3 doubles match between Grace Hashiguchi and Esther Lovato (Liberty) and Alessia Ciuca and Shivani Manjanna (VCU) went unfinished with the Lady Flames leading 6-5 and a deuce point coming up.
• VCU's Witmus put the visitors ahead 2-0 by defeating Saraty in the No. 5 singles match, 6-2, 6-3. Witmus trailed 2-1 in both sets before coming back.
• The Rams extended the lead to 4-0, clinching the match with wins at No. 1 and No. 4 singles. Paola Diaz Delgado upended Almborg 6-3, 6-1 on court one, while Davidescu made it a four-point lead with her 6-3, 6-1 decision over Ode Mitre on court four.
• The last three singles matches were all decided in third set 10-point super tiebreakers.
• Nguyen (Liberty) and Tuturnaru (VCU) traded sets before Tuturnaru prevailed 10-5 in the tiebreaker to take the match 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (5).
• Ciuca of the Rams came back to edge Lovato in the No. 3 singles match, 0-6, 7-6 (5), 1-0 (8). Lovato fell to 19-1 on the season in what was her first loss in the last 25 matches, dating back to the 2020 campaign.
• VCU completed the sweep, as Manjanna topped Hashiguchi 6-7 (6), 6-1, 1-0 (5).
• This is Liberty's first 7-0 setback in three seasons. The last time the Lady Flames lost 7-0 was in the 2019 season opener to Wake Forest (Jan. 19, 2019).
• This is the first time the Lady Flames have lost at home since a 4-3 setback to No. 39 Furman on Feb. 22, 2020.
• Liberty is now 0-3 all-time against VCU.

Next Up
• Liberty will play another home match on Saturday versus Bellarmine (0-15, 0-5 ASUN) to close out ASUN regular season competition. The match will start at 10 a.m. Saturday is Senior Day at the Liberty Tennis Complex. The Lady Flames will honor their two seniors – Grace Hashiguchi and Kelly Lewis – with a special ceremony prior to the match.
• Liberty and Bellarmine met on March 28 in Louisville, Ky., a 6-1 triumph for the Lady Flames. Liberty is currently 5-0 in ASUN North Division play.