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Liberty Falls to USC Upstate, 3-0
USC Upstate ended its stay at the Liberty Invitational with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-19) victory over the host Liberty Lady Flames, Saturday at the Vines Center.
The Spartans (3-4) went 1-2 this weekend, while the Lady Flames fall to 4-3 after with their second setback in three matches at the tournament.
For the match, USC Upstate outhit Liberty, .277 to .235. The Lady Flames outblocked the visitors, 7-2, while the Spartans led in digs, 71-56.
Liberty freshman Hannah Weidner led all players with 19 kills, while freshman Anna Willey finished with a career-high 27 assists and two aces and senior Gabrielle Shipe collected 18 digs. Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas chipped in nine kills, and junior Jade Vorster totaled four blocks.
Junior Kayla Eversgerd scored a match-high 17 kills for USC Upstate, followed by classmate Kayla McAvoy, with 12 kills. Fellow junior Shannon Weiss posted 10 kills and a match-high 21 digs. Junior Lexi Gober dished out a match-high 44 assists to go with 11 digs and freshman Kaleigh Kelley had 16 digs.
The guests won a defensive first set, hitting .154 compared to .133 for the Lady Flames. Kayla McAvoy sent down four kills for USC Upstate, while Weidner and Douglas connected for four kills apiece.
USC Upstate held the lead for a majority of set one, and McAvoy made it 20-17 with a kill. The Lady Flames battled back, drawing to within 22-20 on Weidner's third kill of the set. However, the Spartans scored the final three points of the set for a 25-20 victory.
Both teams improved their efficiency in the second stanza, with USC Upstate hitting .289 with 18 kills and Liberty hitting .250 with 14 kills. The Spartans' Eversgerd and Liberty's Weidner both recorded seven kills in set two, while Willey served up two aces.
The visitors staged a 10-2 run to build a 23-15 advantage during the middle set, getting three kills from Eversgerd during the surge. Liberty then reeled off seven straight points, with a Vorster-Weidner block trimming the deficit to 23-22. Three rally points ensued, with Eversgerd scoring the winning kill, 25-23.
Set three saw the Lady Flames and Spartans play their most efficient volleyball of the match, with USC Upstate attacking at a .358 pace and Liberty hitting .319. Weidner scored eight kills, while Eversgerd had seven of the guests' 20 kills during the final session. The Spartans led from 5-3 on, wrapping up the match with a 25-19, set-three win.