GREENVILLE, S.C. – With the score tied at 3-3, freshman Danni Vines outlasted Anna Dollar, 6-2, 7-5, at flight three singles as Furman defeated Liberty, 4-3, Sunday at the Mickel Tennis Center, giving Paladin head coach Adam Herendeen his 100th career victory.
"I'm really proud of this team and how they battled back after losing the doubles point," said Herendeen. "It was an exciting match that came down to the last court. I've had the privilege of coaching so many great athletes over the years, and it was fun to reach this milestone with this team."
The Flames won two doubles matches to take the opening point. Rebeka Anderson and Aleksandra Panchenko recorded a 6-3 win over senior Ansley Speaks and junior Aryn Greene at flight one, and Dollar teamed up with Evangeline Crist to defeat senior Blair Martin and sophomore Gabby Rodriguez, 6-2, at flight two. The flight three match was unfinished, with Furman sophomore Katty Weymouth and rookie Katarina Kozarov holding a 4-3 lead over Mariely Hassey and Emily Groeneveld.
Furman answered with two quick singles points, as Speaks topped Anderson, 6-0, 6-4, in the top-seeded match-up, and Weymouth beat Panchenko, 6-3, 6-2, at flight two. Liberty tied the score at 2-all after Hassey bested freshman Hannah Ferrett, 6-3, 6-2, at number six, but the Paladins regained the lead when Kozarov recorded a 6-3, 6-4 advantage over Crist in the flight four match. Groeneveld defeated Greene, 6-2, 6-2, at flight five to again knot the match at 3-apiece, setting up the decisive flight three match up.
"We didn't come out with the intensity and execution we wanted in doubles, but the girls did a good job to stay composed and battle back against a tough Liberty team," added Herendeen. "It was great to get our freshmen some experience being the last matches out there and to see them battle through."
Later in the afternoon, Furman beat Tusculum, 6-1. Speaks and Greene defeated Katarina Majorova and Franziska Funke, 6-2, at number one doubles, and Weymouth and Vines beat Sarah Baker and Annie McCullough, 6-1, at flight two, for the opening point.
The Paladins won five singles matches for the victory. Speaks topped Majorova, 6-0, 6-3, at flight one, and Kozarov held on for a 6-1, 2-6, 1-0(10-5) advantage over Funke at number two. Rodriguez blanked Africa Mota, 6-0, 6-0, at flight four, and Martin recorded a 6-3, 6-1 win versus Baker at number five. Freshman Anna Walter also blanked Brittany Brooks, 6-0, 6-0, at flight six.
Furman (7-4) will play at Clemson Saturday at 10:00 a.m. then return home to face USC Upstate at 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Julie Paré, Furman Sports Information