Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Liberty, CSU Set for Crucial Big South Women's Tennis Showdown, Friday

Liberty will close out its regular season on Friday with a crucial Big South match against first-place Charleston Southern. Match time is slated for 2 p.m. at the Cook Tennis Center.

Liberty will host Charleston Southern, Friday at 2 p.m. at the Cook Tennis Center.
The Lady Flames (10-11, 6-1 Big South) stand in third place in the Big South, while the Buccaneers (14-1, 6-0 Big South) head into the final weekend of the regular season without a conference loss. Following its Friday match with Liberty, CSU will conclude its regular season schedule at Longwood, Saturday.

Friday's match was originally slated for March 11 in Lynchburg but was postponed due to inclement weather.

Series History
CSU has won 14 of 19 all-time meetings against Liberty. The two programs met twice in 2016 and split the matchups. In the regular season contest on April 2, 2016, the Buccaneers handed the Lady Flames their lone setback of the Big South regular season slate, 4-3, in Charleston, S.C.

Liberty avenged the loss on April 17, 2016, as the No. 1 seed Lady Flames prevailed, 4-0, over No. 4 seed CSU in the 2016 Big South Women's Tennis Championship semifinals.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live results for Friday's contest will be available. Find the link on the Liberty women's tennis schedule & results panel on LibertyFlames.com.

In addition, follow @LUGameday on Twitter for live in-match updates from the Cook Tennis Center.
Big South Update
The Big South Conference regular season schedule wraps up on Saturday. Here's a look at the conference standings heading into this weekend:

Team Overall Conference
Charleston Southern 14-1 6-0
Winthrop 16-5 7-1
Liberty 10-11 6-1
Gardner-Webb 12-5 5-3
UNC Asheville 10-9 4-4
Campbell 8-12 3-5
Presbyterian 12-10 2-6
Longwood 6-12 1-6
Radford 6-12 0-8
The 2017 Big South Women's Tennis Championship is exactly one week away. The four-day event will be held from April 20-23 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Historic Hassey
Liberty senior Mariely Hassey paces the Lady Flames with 18 singles wins during the 2016-17 season, including an 13-5 mark in the spring. With her 6-2, 6-1 victory over Campbell's Isabel Boada on Tuesday, she moved into second place all-time in program history with her 67th singles victory in a Liberty uniform.

Hassey surpassed Brittany Yang (2011-15), who won 66 career singles matches. The Surprise, Az., native was named the Big South Women's Tennis Player of the Week on two occasions, this season (Feb. 22, March 1).

Groeneveld Riding Hot Streak
Emily Groeneveld, the Lady Flames' other senior on the roster, is playing perhaps the best tennis of her career lately. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native is currently riding a seven-match winning streak in singles competition, spanning from March 24 to present.

Six of the seven wins during her current streak have come in straight sets, while the other win came in a third-set 10-point tiebreaker on Monday over Charlotte's Pierina Imparato, 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 1-0 (10-7).

Groeneveld owns a 16-13 overall mark in 2016-17 and 12-6 mark, this spring. She is unbeaten in Big South singles play at 6-0.
Freshman Impact
Lady Flames freshman Eugenia Camacho (7-0) is unbeaten in Big South singles play, this spring. Six of those seven victories have been in straight sets.

The Costa Rica native's most recent victory was over Pauline Roustan of Campbell, 6-2, 6-1, on Tuesday.

Doubles Report
Liberty's best two doubles units this season have been Evangeline Crist and Anna Dollar (16-9 overall, 7-6 this spring) and seniors Hassey and Groeneveld (14-10 overall, 11-6 this spring).

Dollar/Crist have won four straight doubles matches, while Hassey/Groeneveld have taken three straight.

Crist is now tied for third in school history in career doubles victories (73), as she is tied with Hannah Fick (2008-11).

Scouting Charleston Southern
CSU's only loss of 2017 came at UNC Wilmington, 5-2, on Feb. 9 in its regular season opener. Since then, the Buccaneers have rattled off 14 consecutive victories. Their last three triumphs (Emory, Winthrop and Mercer) have each been by a 4-3 score.

CSU's nine-player 2016-17 roster, coached by Mike Baker, consists of two freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and three seniors. Sophomore Kimberly Koerner leads the Big South in singles winning percentage (.933) and is 14-1 in spring competition. Junior Sophie Cloessner (13-2) boasts a strong mark playing primarily No. 2 singles (12-1), while senior Valeria Koussenkova (11-2) and Yana Morar (11-3) are also in the top-10 in Big South singles winning percentage. The Bucs are a collective 70-20 in singles, this spring.

CSU has also been strong in doubles play (29-15 overall) in 2017. Their unit with the most victories has been Cloessner and senior Nicolin Luecke (9-6 No. 1 doubles) while Koerner and Morar (6-1) and senior Mi'Kola Cooper and Koussenkova (6-3) also hold strong marks.

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