The women's tennis match between Liberty and Furman came down to the final match on the court Sunday, with the host Paladins prevailing, 4-3, at the Mickel Tennis Center.
The Lady Flames fall to 4-4 in 2017 with the setback, while Furman moves to 6-4 overall with the win.
Liberty got off to a positive start, Sunday morning, winning the doubles point over the Paladins. Liberty's No. 1 unit of Rebekah Anderson and Aleksandra Panchenko won their second doubles bout in as many days, besting Furman's top pairing of Ansley Speaks and Aryn Greene, 6-3.
The Lady Flames' Anna Dollar and Evangeline Crist won, 6-2, over Blair Martin and Gabby Rodriguez to give the visitors the doubles point and a 1-0 lead. The victory was the duo's 12th as a pair during the 2016-17 season.
Crist (left) and Dollar (right) won, 6-2, in doubles on Sunday at Furman.
The Paladins' No. 1 and No. 2 singles players, Speaks and Katty Weymouth, both delivered victories to put the hosts ahead, 2-1. Speaks topped Anderson in straight sets (6-0, 6-4), while Weymouth also won in two sets over Panchenko (6-3, 6-2).
Liberty senior Mariely Hassey evened the match up at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Hannah Ferrett in the No. 6 position.
Furman then regained the lead, 3-2, in the No. 4 match. Katarina Kozarov emerged with a victory (6-3, 6-4) over Crist.
Lady Flames senior Emily Groeneveld the match up at 3-3 with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Greene, her fourth singles win of the spring.
The only remaining match on the court, the No. 3 singles match between Dollar and Danni Vines, decided the outcome. Dollar dropped the first set, 6-2, and trailed 5-4 in set two. The sophomore won the next game to stave off defeat, but Vines closed out the match by capturing the next two games to win, 6-2, 7-5.
Vines' victory gave the Paladins a 4-3 victory in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
"We played a strong, well-coached team today. All credit goes to Furman, as they played with more of a sense of urgency than we did," said Liberty Head Women's Tennis Coach Jeff Maren. "We'll take the positives and negatives from this one and use them to prepare for our next match."
Liberty will continue its current road trip with matches this upcoming Friday and Saturday in Orlando, Fla. The Lady Flames face Florida Atlantic (hosted by UCF) on Friday at 11 a.m., followed by UCF on Saturday at 4 p.m. Both matches will be played at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus.