Liberty Wins 4-3 Against Marshall on Senior Day
The Liberty women's tennis squad picked up a 4-3 Senior Day victory against the visiting Marshall Thundering Herd in non-conference action, Thursday afternoon at the Cook Tennis Center.
The Lady Flames improve to 14-6 overall and close out their home slate with a perfect 6-0 mark. Liberty has now won seven straight matches, dating back to March 23. The Lady Flames are 11-1 over their last 12 matches.
Marshall drops to 6-14 on the year and has lost three of its last four. Liberty has now topped the Thundering Herd in each of the last two seasons, its first two victories over Marshall.
Prior to the match, the program honored its five seniors – Rebekah Anderson, Ashley Bongart, Anna Dollar, Maria Medina and Lara Soares – for their contributions to the program. Bongart/Dollar and Medina/Soares helped the Lady Flames secure the doubles point in the match. Dollar and Soares both win in singles as well, which helped Liberty reach four points quickly.
Liberty 4, Marshall 3
1. Anna Smith (MAR) def. Ashley Bongart (LIBERTY) 6-3, 6-4
2. Kalani Soli (LIBERTY) def. Liz Stefancic (MAR) 6-2, 6-2
3. Lara Soares (LIBERTY) def. Daniela Dankanych (MAR) 6-4, 6-4
4. Madi Ballow (MAR) def. Maria Medina (LIBERTY) 6-2, 4-6, 6-3
5. Victoria Walter (MAR) def. Alexandra Almborg (LIBERTY) 7-5, 6-3
6. Anna Dollar (LIBERTY) def. Matilde Mulatero (MAR) 6-2, 6-1
1. Lara Soares/Maria Medina (LIBERTY) def. Madi Ballow/Liz Stefancic (MAR) 6-4
2. Kalani Soli/Alexandra Almborg (LIBERTY) vs. Anna Smith/Daniela Dankanych (MAR) 6-6 (3-3), unfinished
3. Anna Dollar/Ashley Bongart (LIBERTY) def. Victoria Walter/Matilde Mulatero (MAR) 6-0
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (6,2,3,1,4,5)
Official: B Harrison/A Sarver T-2:22
Thoughts From Head Coach Jeff Maren
"I was very proud of our seniors, as each one of them produced a win for us today. Marshall is a very good team and well-coached. So this was a very good victory for our program. The girls handled the emotion of Senior Day and competed with tenacity once again. This match will add to our momentum and confidence as we prepare for our next match. To God be the glory!"
How It Happened
- Liberty took the doubles point and singles victories on courts six, two and three to secure the victory and a 4-0 edge. Marshall won the final three matches (No. 1, No. 4 and No. 5) after the outcome had already been decided.
- Two Lady Flames senior doubles pairings won to give Liberty the early 1-0 advantage in the match. Dollar and Bongart (No. 3 doubles) wasted no time in winning 6-0 against Victoria Walter and Matilde Mulatero. Medina and Soares followed up with a 6-4 victory against the Thundering Herd's Madi Ballow and Liz Stefancic on court one. Combined, the two Liberty duos are 23-9 in spring doubles bouts.
- Dollar continued her strong singles play, winning for the 11th time in her last 12 matches, 6-2, 6-1 against Matilde Mulatero for a 2-0 Liberty lead. Dollar has been a steady presence at the back of the Lady Flames' lineup this spring with a 13-3 singles mark.
- Junior Kalani Soli put together another dominant effort, defeating the Thundering Herd's Stefancic in two sets (6-2, 6-2). Soli's victory, which pushed the home side's lead to 3-0, was her 12th straight singles triumph.
- Not long after Soli's two-set decision, Soares, the team captain, knocked off Daniela Dankanych in straight sets (6-4, 6-4) to clinch the match for Liberty and put the hosts ahead 4-0.
- Anna Smith (No. 1 singles), Ballow (No. 4 singles) and Walter (No. 5 singles) of Marshall each won their respective contests against Lady Flames opponents. Smith needed two sets to defeat Bongart (6-3, 6-4), while Ballow required three sets to get past Medina (6-2, 4-6, 6-3). Walter defeated Liberty freshman Alexandra Almborg 7-5, 6-3 for the Thundering Herd's third and final point of the afternoon.
- Liberty's senior class has 249 doubles victories and 214 singles wins to its credit. Dollar and Anderson have been a part of the team for four seasons each, while Bongart, Medina and Soares have been with the Lady Flames for two seasons. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, the Lady Flames have a 59-37 overall record.
- Liberty will travel to NJIT for their final ASUN tilt and final regular season contest against the Highlanders. First serve between the Lady Flames and Highlanders (13-7, 2-4 ASUN) is pegged for 4 p.m. at the Naomili Family Athletic and Recreational Facility (indoor courts) in Newark, N.J. With a victory, Liberty will clinch the ASUN regular season and the No. 1 seed for the ASUN Women's Tennis Championship. The Lady Flames are already guaranteed a first-round bye and a top-two seed in the conference tournament.
- Liberty is 1-0 all-time against NJIT, and the two teams will be squaring off for the first time as ASUN Conference members.. The Lady Flames bested the Highlanders 7-0 in a neutral-site match on Feb. 7, 2015 in Akron, Ohio.