Friday, March 31, 2017

Liberty Women's Tennis to Compete Against Gardner-Webb and Winthrop

Liberty women's tennis will head south to take on Big South Conference foes Gardner-Webb and Winthrop, Friday and Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Flames (7-9, 4-0 Big South) won two of its three matches, last week, and look to remain unbeaten in league play. Liberty is currently a game out of first place in the Big South standings behind Winthrop (6-0 Big South) and a half-game behind Charleston Southern (5-0 Big South).

Liberty will face Gardner-Webb (10-4, 4-2 Big South) on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the GWU Tennis Courts in Boiling Springs, N.C. Saturday's matchup in Rock Hill, S.C., between Liberty and Winthrop (15-4, 6-0 Big South) will begin at 1 p.m. at Memorial Courts.

The Lady Flames will play a pair of Big South matches at Gardner-Webb and Winthrop, Friday and Saturday.
Series History
The Lady Flames are 10-4 all-time against the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. The two schools last met on March 18, 2016, which was Senior Day for Liberty. Liberty swept Gardner-Webb, 7-0, on that day.

The Eagles have taken all but one of the 22 all-time meetings from Liberty. The Lady Flames picked up their first win in the series on March 19, 2016, in Lynchburg. On that day, Liberty edged No. 53 Winthrop, 4-3.

Liberty and Winthrop shared the Big South regular season title in 2016. The Lady Flames earned the top seed in the 2016 Big South Women's Tennis Championship and faced the No. 2 Eagles in the title match. Winthrop edged Liberty, 4-3, for its 13th conference title in the past 15 years.

Big South Midway Point
The Lady Flames are 4-0, halfway through their Big South slate. After this weekend's matches at Gardner-Webb and Winthrop, Liberty's final two conference matches will be at Campbell (April 11) and at home against Charleston Southern (April 14).

The 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship will be held from April 20-23 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Here's a look at the Big South Conference standings:
Team Overall Conference
Winthrop 15-4 6-0
Charleston Southern 11-1 5-0
Liberty 7-9 4-0
Gardner-Webb 10-4 4-2
UNC Asheville 9-8 3-4
Campbell 8-9 3-4
Presbyterian 11-7 1-4
Radford 6-10 0-6
Longwood 3-12 0-6

Inside the Numbers
Liberty senior Mariely Hassey leads the Lady Flames with 16 singles wins during the 2016-17 season, including an 11-3 mark in the spring. Hassey picked up her 65th career singles win, last Sunday on Senior Day against Presbyterian. The win moved the senior into solo third place all-time in program history in singles victory.

Junior Evangeline Crist is right behind her with 63 career singles victories, including a 13-9 mark during her junior season. Crist is 9-5 in dual matches this spring, while sophomore Anna Dollar (9-5) and senior Emily Groeneveld (7-6) boast strong singles resumes.

Liberty's top two doubles units this year have been Crist and Dollar (12-9 record) and Hassey and Groeneveld (10-9 overall, 7-5 this spring). Crist is No. 5 in program history in career doubles victories (69) and fifth in singles wins (63).

Three Lady Flames are unbeaten in Big South singles play: freshman Eugenia Camacho (4-0), Hassey (4-0) and Dollar (4-0). Dollar is also second in the Big South in No. 3 singles winning percentage (5-1, .833), this spring, while Hassey is second in the conference in No. 5 singles winning percentage (5-1, .833).

Scouting Gardner-Webb
The Bulldogs (10-4, 4-2 Big South) have improved greatly from a year ago. In 2016, Gardner-Webb finished 8-14 overall and 3-6 in Big South play.

The Bulldogs' nine-player roster features two seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. Freshman Daniela Naupari (11-3 at No. 3) senior Catherine White (11-3 at No. 5) and junior Sarah Rieckmann (9-4 overall, 9-3 at No. 2) have been the team's most successful singles players, this spring. Rieckmann and White own the best doubles record on the squad at 8-4.

Gardner-Webb is coached by 11th-year head coach Jim Corn.

Scouting Winthrop
The Eagles (15-4, 6-0 Big South) have a young squad that features four freshmen, four sophomores and a redshirt senior.

Sophomore Lauren Proctor is Winthrop's top singles player with a 17-2 mark in the No. 1 slot. Freshman Alisa Soloveva boasts a 14-5 mark in the No. 2 position for the Eagles. In doubles, Soloveva and redshirt senior Caitlin Cridland are 14-5 as the No. 2 unit, while Proctor and sophomore Megan Kauffman hold a 13-6 record as the No. 1 doubles tandem.

Winthrop is coached by Cid Carvalho. Carvalho has been the Winthrop head coach for the past 30 years and has led the Eagles to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 17 years.

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