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Lady Flames Register 3-0 Sweep of Elon
The Liberty volleyball team swept the host Elon Phoenix, 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-13), on Saturday in the final match of the Elon Phoenix Classic.
The Lady Flames wrapped up their first weekend of competition with a 2-1 record, while Elon falls to 1-2 with the loss. Liberty placed second at this weekend's invitational behind Maryland, which went 3-0.
Junior Jade Vorster and freshman Hannah Weidner represented the Lady Flames on the all-tournament team.
Liberty hit .298 with 41 kills for the match, while Elon hit .088 with 31 kills. The Lady Flames led, 42-34 in digs and 3-1 in aces, and Elon held a 7 to 5.5 edge in blocks.
Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas and freshman Hannah Weidner (.533) both recorded 10 kills for the Lady Flames. Junior Caila Stapleton dished out a match-high 30 assists to go along with two aces and three blocks, while senior Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 12 digs. Junior Jade Vorster tied for the team lead with three blocks.
Elon freshman Sydney Busa recorded 10 kills at a .381 pace, while junior Ana Nicksic distributed 20 assists. Sophomore Morgan Maner collected 10 digs, and classmate Ally Karle totaled a match-best four blocks.
Liberty staged a 5-0 run during the first set, turning a, 18-15 deficit into a 20-18 lead. The Lady Flames built their lead back to three, 23-20, on a kill by Vorster and a triple block. Three consecutive Liberty miscues tied the set, 23-23. Following an Elon service error, Reynolds clinched set one, 25-23 with an ace.
The Lady Flames hit .324 during the first set, compared to .189 for the Phoenix. Douglas scored six kills, while Vorster and Douglas had two blocks apiece and Rachel Smoltz collected seven digs.
Liberty led the second set by four, 18-14, following a Weidner kill. The Phoenix continued to battle, drawing to within one at 20-19, and again at 21-20, following kills by Busa. Douglas then sent down a kill, and Stapleton served an ace before back-to-back Weidner kills gave the Lady Flames set two by a 25-20 score.
During set two, Liberty held a .289-.265 edge in hitting percentage. Liberty's Douglas and Elon's Busa both recorded six kills during the stanza.
The Lady Flames ran out to a 19-7 lead during the third set and never looked back, sealing the sweep with a 25-13 victory. The Lady Flames hit .263, while Elon hit -.226 with 13 attack errors. Stapleton assisted on all three of Liberty's blocks and the Phoenix recorded three blocks as well.
Liberty returns to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and will head to Harrisonburg, Va., for a match at James Madison on Tuesday, with first serve scheduled for 6 p.m.