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Liberty Scores Key Win at Presbyterian College, 3-1
The Liberty volleyball team posted a 3-1 (25-12, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21) win over first-place Presbyterian College, Friday night at the Templeton Center. During the match, Liberty junior Gabrielle Shipe became the 19th player in program history to record 1,000 career digs.
The Lady Flames (6-15, 5-3 Big South) won for the third match in a row, while the Blue Hose (7-16, 5-3) saw a brief two-match win streak snapped. Liberty and PC are now in a five-way tie for second place in the Big South, behind league leader Radford (6-2).
Liberty hit a season-best .295, while Presbyterian attacked at a .123 pace. The Lady Flames won the blocking battle, 13-10, while also leading in aces, 6-4. The Blue Hose held a 55-51 advantage in digs.
Redshirt sophomore Caroline Douglas recorded a season-high 13 kills to lead Liberty, followed by 12 kills and four aces from senior Lillie Happel. Shipe recorded a match-high 21 digs, giving her 1,006 career digs. Senior Jade Craycraft totaled 42 assists and nine digs. Redshirt senior Kendle Rollins registered six blocks, while freshman Nzea McQuitery, Happel and Craycraft all posted four blocks. Junior Melissa Racz chipped in with a season-best 10 kills.
Presbyterian's Rachel Hall led all players with 15 kills, while Andrea Barman had 11 kills. Kelly Berryman tied for the match high with six blocks. Mary Trimpe recorded 14 digs, while Ashtin Frank dished out 37 assists.
The Lady Flames rolled to a 25-12 set-one victory, outhitting the Blue Hose, .526 to .-050. Liberty disrupted PC's offense throughout the session, with four blocks and three service aces. Liberty's Happel served up three aces during an 8-0 run that pushed the team's advantage to 18-6. For the set, five Lady Flames recorded multiple kills, led by three each from Douglas and Happel.
Liberty controlled set two from the beginning, racing to an 11-point lead, 17-6, after back-to-back blocks from McQuitery. The Lady Flames held a sizeable advantage from that point on, winning the set, 25-16.
The guests hit .270 in the second set, compared to .029 for the Blue Hose. Douglas scored four kills for Liberty, while PC's Hall answered with seven kills.
The Lady Flames led by five, 17-12, during the third stanza, before PC staged a seven-point run to surge ahead, 19-17. Rollins stopped the run with a kill, and Racz sent down a kill after a rally point, making it 20-19. The Blue Hose then outscored Liberty, 5-1, down the stretch, keeping the match alive with a 25-20 set-three victory.
Both teams hit well during set three, with Liberty holding a .303-.297 edge in hitting percentage. Berryman sent down four kills for PC.
Liberty built a 17-11 lead in the fourth set, following a Rollins-Racz block. PC chipped away at the deficit, but the Lady Flames still led, 22-17, when Happel recorded a block. Barman then scored a kill and a block during a 3-0 PC rally, trimming the deficit to 22-20. A Happel kill made it 23-20, and Liberty clinched the set and match, 25-21, with a block from Rollins and Douglas.
The Lady Flames outhit the Blue Hose, .200-.132, in set four, with both teams registering five blocks.
Liberty will next compete at Winthrop, tomorrow at 2 p.m. inside Winthrop Coliseum, to end the Lady Flames' two-match stint in South Carolina.