LYNCHBURG, Va. —
Freshmen Madi Ballow
and Victoria Walter
earned their first career collegiate singles wins Saturday on the opening day of the Liberty Invitational.
Ballow was the lone winner for the Herd in the morning session, defeating Liberty's Lara Soares in a tiebreaker, 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5). Walter and Anna Smith
were each victorious in the afternoon session. Walter defeated James Madison's Jona Roka in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2. Smith continued her impressive form from last season with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Abby Amos of James Madison.
"Today was a great start for our new players," head coach John Mercer
said. "It's good to finally be playing someone other than ourselves."
Marshall's doubles pairs were shut out of the win column Saturday. In the morning session, Smith and Liz Stefancic
were defeated by Liberty's Rebekah Anderson and Kalani Soli, 7-5. Walter and Ballow fell to Liberty's Maria Medina and Soares, 6-1. In the afternoon session, Smith and Walter fell to Amos and Daniela Voloh of James Madison, 6-4, while Stefancic and Ballow were defeated by JMU's Emma Petersen and Daria Afanasyeva, 7-5.
Smith opened the morning session of singles play with a close, 7-6 (4), 7-5 loss to Ashley Bongart of Liberty. Walter fell to Soli in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, while Stefanic lost to Medina, 6-4, 6-3. In the afternoon session, Ballow was defeated in a tiebreaker by Voloh, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (12-10), while Stefancic lost in a tiebreaker to Petersen, 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-4).
Morning Session – Singles
Ashley Bongart (Liberty) def. Anna Smith (Marshall)
; 7-6 (4), 7-5
Kalani Soli (Liberty) def. Victoria Walter (Marshall)
; 6-2, 6-2
Madi Ballow (Marshall)
def. Lara Soares (Liberty); 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (10-5)
Maria Medina (Liberty) def. Liz Stefancic (Marshall)
; 6-4, 6-3
Morning Session – Doubles
Rebekah Anderson/Kalani Soli (Libert) def. Anna Smith/Liz Stefancic (Marshall)
Maria Medina/Lara Soares (Liberty) def. Victoria Walter/Madi Ballow (Marshall)
Afternoon Session – Singles
Anna Smith (Marshall)
def. Abby Amos (James Madison); 6-2, 6-3
Daniela Voloh (James Madison) def. Madi Ballow (Marshall)
; 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (12-10)
Victoria Walter (Marshall)
def. Jona Roka (James Madison); 6-2, 6-2
Emma Petersen (James Madison) def. Liz Stefancic (Marshall)
; 6-4, 3-6, 1-0 (10-4)
Afternoon Session – Doubles
Daniela Voloh/Abby Amos (James Madison) def. Anna Smith/Victoria Walter (Marshall)
Emma Petersen/Daria Afanasyeva (James Madison) def. Liz Stefancic/Madi Ballow (Marshall)
Marshall concludes play at the Liberty Invitational Sunday with a single session at 9 a.m.
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