Women's Tennis Prepared for Trio of Home Matches, This Week
The Liberty women's tennis team will welcome a trio of opponents to Lynchburg this week for matches at the Cook Tennis Center.
The Lady Flames (5-8, 3-0 Big South) will play a pair of non-conference matchups vs. No. 33 Maryland (10-1, 2-0 Big Ten) on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and against East Carolina (5-6, 0-0 AAC), Friday at 2 p.m. On Sunday, Liberty will return to Big South Conference play for a Senior Day showdown with Presbyterian (10-6, 0-2 Big South) at 1 p.m.
Sunday's match vs. Presbyterian will be Senior Day for the Liberty women's tennis program. Prior to the match, the Lady Flames will recognize seniors Emily Groeneveld and Mariely Hassey for their accomplishments and contributions to the program.
Groeneveld (left) and Hassey (right) will be honored on Sunday for Senior Day, prior to the Big South match between Liberty and Presbyterian.
Liberty is currently a half-game out of first place in the Big South standings behind Charleston Southern (4-0 Big South) and Winthrop (4-0 Big South).
Series History Wednesday's match with Maryland will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools. While the two schools have not met for a dual match, Liberty's doubles pairing of Evangeline Crist and Anna Dollar scored a memorable upset win over Maryland's Ekaterina Tour and Arnelle Sullivan at the ITA Atlantic Regional at Old Dominion in the fall. Crist and Dollar, who were seeded No. 9 coming in, knocked off Maryland's No. 3 pairing to become the first pair in Liberty women's tennis history to reach the semifinals at the ITA Atlantic Regional.
The Lady Flames and East Carolina Pirates have met five previous times, with ECU owning a 4-1 series advantage. Liberty won the last meeting between the programs, 4-0, on April 5, 2014.
Liberty has an 8-1 all-time series advantage over the Presbyterian Blue Hose. The Lady Flames swept the most recent contest, 7-0, against Presbyterian on March 25, 2016.
How to Follow the Lady Flames The Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN) will be providing a live broadcast of the match against Maryland. To watch the match, find the link for the live video on the Liberty women's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com.
Live stats for all three matches this week will also be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the Liberty women's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com. Also, be sure to follow @LUGameday on Twitter for live in-match updates for each match.
Inside the Numbers Hassey leads the Lady Flames with 13 singles wins during the 2016-17 season, including an 8-3 mark in the spring. She has 62 career singles wins in a Liberty uniform, tied for fourth-most in program history.
Crist is right behind her with 60 career singles victories, including a 10-9 mark during her junior season. Crist is 6-5 in dual matches this spring, while Dollar (7-4) and senior Emily Groeneveld (5-5) have been solid in singles play, this spring.
Liberty's top two doubles units this year have been Crist and Dollar (12-8 record) and sophomores Rebekah Anderson and Aleksandra Panchenko (10-10 record). Crist is No. 4 in program history in career doubles victories (70) and tied for sixth in singles wins (60).
Scouting Maryland The Terrapins are 3-1 against ranked opponents this spring, with victories over No. 47 Iowa, No. 48 Marshall and No. 50 VCU. Their lone setback of the season came against No. 49 William & Mary, March 3.
Maryland's nine-player roster consists of four seniors, one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen. The Terrapins boast strong doubles units that won five doubles championships in the fall, including a doubles title by seniors Alexandra Stanova and Kristina Hovsepyan at the ITA Atlantic Regional. Maryland has won the doubles point in 10 straight matches, this spring.
The Terrapins are led by fifth-year head coach Daria Panova, who has guided the team to 10 victories already this spring, equaling their win total from a season ago.
Scouting East Carolina The Pirates have lost three of their last five matches entering Friday's bout with Liberty. Their most recent loss was a 5-2 defeat at the hands of No. 3 North Carolina on March 11.
ECU's 10-player roster features three seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and two freshmen. Sophomore Celia Ruiz was the most recent Pirate player to be recognized, as she won American Athlete Conference Player of the Week on March 14. Ruiz, who just entered the ITA women's singles top-125 ranking on Tuesday at No. 124, bested No. 24 Jessie Aney (6-2, 7-5) of North Carolina on March 11 for the first win over a nationally-ranked opponent of her career.
The Pirates are led by Director of Tennis/Head Women's Coach Tom Morris. Morris, in his 19th year, is the winningest coach in ECU women's tennis history and formerly led both the men's and women's programs at the school.
Scouting Presbyterian The Blue Hose, who were picked to finish eighth in the Big South, square off with fellow Big South member Longwood on Friday before playing the Lady Flames on Sunday.
With a 10-6 record so far this spring, Presbyterian has nearly equaled its win total (11) from 2016. PC's eight-player roster is comprised of one senior, two juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. Sophomore Tracy Johnson (11-3) boasts the team's best singles record, playing out of the No. 1 and No. 2 positions. In doubles, Johnson and fellow sophomore Nicole Croxton are PC's winningest pairing (9-4 record).
Sixth-year head coach Catherine Dunagan heads the PC program. Dunagan guided the team to its first-ever winning season in the Division I era in 2015 and currently has the Blue Hose above .500 (10-6, .625), this season.