The Lady Flames posted a 7-1 record in the Big South, this spring, earning a share of the conference's regular-season title for a second straight year. Liberty's season came to an end with a 4-3 loss to No. 2 seed Charleston Southern in the semifinals of the Big South Women's Tennis Championship, April 22 at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
2017 Spring Season Highlights
- Liberty defeated Charleston Southern, 4-3, on April 14 at the Cook Tennis Center. Tied 2-2, junior Evangeline Crist and freshman Eugenia Camacho earned three-set wins in their matches to seal the victory. The Lady Flames' victory clinched a share of the Big South Conference's regular-season crown for a second consecutive year. Under Head Coach Jeff Maren's leadership, the Lady Flames are 35-9 in conference play over the past five seasons.
- Crist, a junior, and sophomore Anna Dollar were both named to the Big South Conference Second Team All-Conference Singles list. Crist became the fourth Lady Flame to make multiple appearances on the all-conference singles team during her career. Crist and Dollar's selections marked the fourth time in program history that multiple Lady Flames have earned all-conference honors for singles.
- Liberty women's tennis senior Emily Groeneveld earned a spot on the Big South All-Academic team. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native owns a 3.95 GPA at the graduate level and is obtaining her master's degree in human services counseling: crisis response & trauma. She posted a 3.92 undergraduate GPA and completed a bachelor's degree in communications with emphasis on psychology and family and child development in the spring of 2016.
- The Lady Flames were well-represented in the Big South Weekly Awards, this spring. Senior Mariely Hassey garnered Big South Women's Tennis Player of the Week selection in back-to-back weeks (Feb. 22, March 1), while Crist claimed the award on Feb. 8. Camacho was tabbed the Big South Women's Tennis Freshman of the Week on April 17.
- Hassey and fellow senior Groeneveld closed out their Liberty careers with strong spring campaigns. Hassey won 15 singles matches during her final spring season, while Groeneveld won 13 singles bouts. The duo teamed up for 13 doubles triumphs, including an 8-2 mark in the No. 3 doubles flight.
- Several Liberty players made major leaps up the Liberty women's tennis program record book. Hassey won 20 singles matches during the 2016-17 season to move into second place all-time in school history for singles victories (69). Crist captured 17 matches and now stands at No. 3 all-time in career singles victories (67) with one more season to play. Crist's 19 doubles victories bring her to 74 total, which is currently third-most in program history. She also has the fourth-best winning percentage in doubles (74-32, .698), followed by Dollar (45-22, .672), who won 20 more times in doubles as a sophomore. Finally, Groeneveld finished out her Liberty career ninth all-time in Liberty women's tennis history in doubles wins with 49.
- The Lady Flames won seven of their final 10 matches to close out the season, including a pair of three-match winning streaks (East Carolina, Presbyterian and Gardner-Webb from March 24-31 and Charlotte, Campbell and Charleston Southern from April 10-14).
- On Feb. 4, Liberty faced a 3-0 deficit to East Tennessee State before rallying to win the final four singles bouts and the match, 4-3. The early-season victory was the Lady Flames' first-ever over the Bucs in program history. ETSU was coming off a 20-3 season during the 2015-16 campaign.
- Crist and Dollar were tabbed the No. 7 doubles team in the Oracle/ITA Division I Regional Rankings for the Atlantic Regional to start the new year. The pairing won 17 times during the 2016-17 season, including eight victories in the spring.
- Liberty did not shy away from difficult competition, as the Lady Flames faced eight opponents inside the top 75 in the ITA rankings: No. 61 Louisville, No. 29 Wake Forest, No. 24 Tennessee, No. 67 Furman, No. 46 UCF, No. 28 Tulsa, No. 33 Maryland and No. 58 Winthrop.