March 1, 2014
CONWAY - The Coastal Carolina women’s tennis team lost its Big South opener to Liberty by a tight 4-3 margin on Saturday afternoon at the Billy Nichols Tennis Center.
The Chanticleers now sit at 8-2 (0-1) while the Flames improve to 7-2 (2-0) on the season.
Liberty took the doubles point to start the match, winning on the first and second courts by identical scores of 8-5 to clinch the point.
The Flames top pair of Maria Khval and Rebeka Jenkins bested Kourtney Kowal and Honami Yazawa of Coastal while Amanda Malatek and Maria Babayan could not fend off Brittany Yang and Belen Rivera at No. 2.
Coastal’s third pair of Libby Scott and Dominique picked up a win the finals doubles match, defeating Valerie Thong and Mariely Hassey 8-4.
As play moved the singles, Kowal quickly evened the match at 1-1 after besting Jenkins at No. 2, 6-2, 6-1. Yazawa then gave the Chants a 2-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Hassey at No. 2.
Liberty’s Rivera tied the match once more, defeating Delay at No. 4, 6-1, 6-4. Yang at No. 6 and Wellman at No. 5 took the next two singles points for the Flames to give Liberty a 4-2 lead and seal the match.
Scott closed out the match with 7-6 (4), 6-1 win over Khval at No. 2 to bring the final tally to 4-3.
“This match was certainly a winnable one,” said Chanticleer coach Catherine Hewitt. “It definitely exposed some weaknesses we need to work on. The good news is we plan to have a solid week of practice to improve and better ourselves.”
The Chanticleers return to the courts of the Billy Nichols Tennis Center on March 7, when they host Big South opponent Radford for an 11 a.m. match.
Liberty 4, Coastal Carolina 3
1. Kowal, Kourtney (COASTAL) def. JENKINS, Rebekah (LIBERTYW) 6-2, 6-1
2. Scott, Libby (COASTAL) def. KHVAL, Maria (LIBERTYW) 7-6, 6-1
3. Yazawa, Honami (COASTAL) def. HASSEY, Mariely (LIBERTYW) 6-4, 6-3
4. RIVERA, Belen (LIBERTYW) def. Delay, Romane (COASTAL) 6-1, 6-4
5. WELLMAN, Nicola (LIBERTYW) def. Babayan, Marie (COASTAL) 7-5, 6-2
6. YANG, Brittany (LIBERTYW) def. Malatek, Amanda (COASTAL) 7-5, 6-3
1. KHVAL, Maria/JENKINS, Rebekah (LIBERTYW) def. YAZAWA, Honami/KOWAL, Kourtney (COASTAL) 8-5
2. YANG, Brittany/RIVERA, Belen (LIBERTYW) def. BABAYAN, Marie/MALATEK, Amanda (COASTAL) 8-5
3. SCOTT, Libby/DE WIT, Dominique (COASTAL) def. THONG, Valerie/HASSEY, Mariely (LIBERTYW) 8-4
Coastal Carolina 8-2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,3,4,6,5,2)