Boiling Springs, N.C. - Gardner-Webb's women's tennis team nearly pulled off an improbable comeback during singles play, yet fell just short as the visiting Liberty Flames escaped from the Webb Tennis Complex with a 4-3 win on Saturday.
GWU (5-8, 1-3 Big South) won three singles matches despite not fielding a No. 6 player after splitting No. 1 and 2 doubles with Liberty to open the match.
Liberty (7-7, 4-2 Big South) got a win by default at No. 3 doubles and an 8-3 triumph at the No. 2 doubles slot behind Boda/Yang to take a 1-0 lead over the Runnin' Bulldogs heading into singles play.
GWU's No. 1 and 2 players, White (Charleston, W.Va.) and Yasmin Doost (Bray, Maidenhead, England) stormed out to win the first set in their respective matches, helping the Runnin' Bulldogs establish some momentum in singles play from the top of their lineup.
White, faced with a 3-0 deficit in set three against Rebekah Jenkins, responded with a rally of her own to take a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 1 singles. The senior garnered her team-leading tenth singles win of the season on Saturday.
At No. 2, Doost, controlled the second set to finish off a win as well, getting GWU's second win of the day at 7-5, 6-2 against Cam Richard. The sophomore has won six of her past eight singles matches for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
A win from Nicola Wellman at No. 3 propelled the Flames, moving the visitors within an additional singles point of clinching a win.
GWU's Valeriia Popko battled back to take the match at No. 4 singles, getting the third win of the day for the Runnin' Bulldogs with a come-from-behind effort. The freshman from St. Petersburg, Russia won 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 over Brittany Yang.
Another GWU freshman nearly pulled off a comeback win, as Rokia Sacko (Montreal, Canada) took a one set deficit into a 3-2 third set lead at No. 5 singles. Sacko would fall victim to a Valerie Thong rally and see the Flames' rookie take a 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 win.
Popko, Doost, and White have each won two straight at their respective singles positions, dating back to Wednesday's Big South win over UNC Asheville.
Gardner-Webb is scheduled to play on Tuesday, March 26, staying in Big South play for a 2:00 p.m. road match at Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C.