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Lady Flames Pull Away for 3-0 Sweep of CSU
After a tightly-contested first two sets, the Liberty volleyball team pulled away for a 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-13) victory over visiting Charleston Southern, Friday at the Vines Center.
The Lady Flames (4-15, 3-3 Big South) have won three out of their last four matches, while the Buccaneers (5-16, 0-6) have dropped nine matches in a row. Liberty has won each of its last 13 contests against Charleston Southern.
Liberty hit .261 for the match, aided by a .400 attack percentage during set three. Despite holding a 9-4.5 advantage in blocks, CSU hit just .120. The Lady Flames led, 46-41, in digs, and 6-5, in aces.
Senior Lillie Happel (.417) and freshman Nzea McQuitery (.391) tied for the match high with 12 kills apiece for Liberty. Happel added 11 digs, good for her third double-double in a row, while McQuitery totaled three blocks. Senior Jade Craycraft dished out a match-high 39 assists, and junior Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-best 18 digs. Redshirt senior Kendle Rollins sent down eight kills.
Sophomore Katrina Houston led CSU with 11 kills, followed by eight from senior Erin LaVenice. Sophomore Meredith Parrott recorded seven block assists, while sophomore Siraya Windsor assisted on five blocks.
Set one went back and forth, with 10 ties and eight lead changes. Happel gave Liberty a 17-15 lead with a kill, before a four-point run put CSU back in the lead, 19-17. A pair of kills by Rollins during a 3-0 Liberty rally gave the Lady Flames a 20-19 advantage. CSU's fifth block of the stanza set the score at 23-21 in the visitors' favor. After a rally point, Windsor gave CSU set point, 24-22, with a kill. Haley Jeffcoat then scored back-to-back kills, sparking a four-point Liberty surge, as the Lady Flames took the opening set, 26-24.
Liberty outhit CSU, .211-.200, in the first set. Happel scored four kills, while Parrott posted four rejections.
Charleston Southern surged to a 15-9 lead in the middle frame. The Lady Flames then staged a 7-1 run to tie it at 16-all. After CSU scored for a 17-16 lead, Happel scored three kills and a pair of aces to spur Liberty to a 6-1 rally, making it 22-18, Liberty. CSU pulled to within two, 23-21, after an ace by Windsor, but the Lady Flames took a 2-0 match lead, winning set two, 25-22.
Liberty hit .190 during the middle stanza, compared to .114 for the Buccaneers. Happel scored five kills, while McQuitery added four kills and three blocks.
The Lady Flames put the match away during the third set, racing to a 25-13 victory while hitting .400 (17-3-35) as a team. The Buccaneers responded with six kills at a .037 pace. Rollins (.833) and McQuitery (.364) both connected for five kills in the final stanza, helping the Lady Flames wrap up the match.
The Lady Flames remain at the Vines Center, where they will host Coastal Carolina tomorrow at noon. Liberty downed Coastal Carolina, 3-1, in the 2012 Big South Volleyball Championship final, the last meeting between the two programs.