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Maryland Posts 3-2, Comeback Victory Over Liberty
Liberty stormed out to a 2-0 lead against Maryland, before the Terrapins rallied for a 3-2 (23-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-14, 15-13) victory over the Lady Flames during Saturday's first match at the Elon Phoenix Classic.
Maryland, representing the Big 10, improves its season record to 2-0, while the Lady Flames' record evens at 1-1 entering tonight's match against Elon.
The Terrapins outhit Liberty, .261 to .247. The Lady Flames led in digs, 51-47, and in aces, 3-2, while both teams recorded nine blocks.
Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas led four Lady Flames in double-figures in kills, sending down 19 kills. Sophomore Nzea McQuitery scored a career-high 15 kills, hitting .480. Freshman Hannah Weidner recorded 13 kills, while junior Jade Vorster (.647) had 11 kills and five blocks. Junior Caila Stapleton dished out a match-high 54 assists to go with two aces. Senior Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-best 19 digs, while junior Haley Jeffcoat chipped in a career-high 11 digs and four blocks.
Shipe passed Jessica Nelson (2004-08) and moved into 14th place all-time at Liberty with 1,194 career digs.
Maryland senior Adreene Elliott posted a match-high 24 kills and added four blocks. Freshman Hailey Murray recorded 11 kills at a .529 pace, while sophomore Carlotta Oggioni dished out 51 assists. Sophomore Ashlyn MacGregor had seven blocks, and junior Emily Fraik (13) and freshman Sam Higginbothem (11) both finished in double-figures in digs.
The Lady Flames hit .429 on the way to a 25-23 set-one victory, while the Terrapins responded with a .289 efficiency. Weidner gave Liberty a 19-18 lead with a kill, and followed by putting down back-to-back kills for a 21-19 advantage. In total, Weidner scored kills for five of Liberty's last seven points in the set. With the Lady Flames ahead, 24-21, Elliott sent down a kill to keep the match alive. After one more Maryland point, Douglas and McQuitery ended the set with a block.
Maryland's Elliott registered nine kills during the opening set, while Weidner recorded eight kills for the Lady Flames.
Liberty continued its hot hitting during the second stanza, attacking at a .609 pace. The Lady Flames stormed out to a 17-11 advantage, thanks in part to six early kills by Douglas. Maryland narrowed the gap to three, 19-16, before a 6-3 Liberty run gave the Lady Flames a 25-19 set-two victory and 2-0 match lead.
Douglas hit 7-for-7 for the Lady Flames, followed by five kills from McQuitery, while Stapleton served up two aces during the second frame.
Maryland made a late comeback to extend the match in set three. After Vorster's kill gave Liberty a 20-19 lead, the Terrapins went on a 4-0 run to gain the advantage, 23-20. Douglas drew the Lady Flames to within one, 23-22, with a kill, before Maryland scored the next two points for a 25-22 victory.
Elliott recorded seven kills during set three, while Douglas countered with five winners of her own.
The Terrapins led from 2-1 on during a 25-14 set-four victory. Maryland, which outhit Liberty, .474 to -.040 in the fourth stanza, ended the set on a 6-0 run. MacGregor posted factored in on all three of Maryland's blocks during the fourth set.
Liberty took an 8-7 lead at the changeover in the fifth set, on McQuitery's second kill of the frame. Maryland won the race to 10, as MacGregor and Elliott posted a block for a 10-9 lead. After Douglas tied it at 10-all, the Terrapins scored the next two points. A Vorster kill and a Vorster-Jeffcoat block fueled a 3-0 rally, as Liberty went ahead, 13-12. However, the Terrapins ended the match on a three- point run, winning set five, 15-13.
The Lady Flames next wrap up the Elon Phoenix Classic with a 7 p.m. match tonight against tournament host Elon.