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Lady Flames Post 3-1 Win at Georgetown
Liberty opened its week with a 3-1 (25-22, 26-24, 25-27, 25-16) victory over Georgetown of the BIG EAST, Tuesday at McDonough Arena.
The Lady Flames improve to 6-3 on the season, while Georgetown's record now stands at 4-3. Liberty has defeated Georgetown by identical 3-1 scores each of the last three years.
Liberty outhit Georgetown, .219 to .129, while also leading, 81-79 in digs, 7-6 in aces and 13.5-11 in blocks. The Lady Flames set season highs in digs, aces and blocks on Tuesday.
Freshman Hannah Weidner scored a match-high 16 kills for the Lady Flames while adding five blocks. Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas recorded 15 kills and five blocks. Junior Jade Vorster recorded a season-high nine blocks, while classmate Caila Stapleton (41 assists, career-high 18 digs) posted a double-double. Freshman Sirena Vorster registered a career-high 10 kills.
Liberty senior Gabrielle Shipe recorded her first career double-double, with 10 assists and 16 digs to go along with two aces. Shipe now ranks ninth in program history with 1,308 career digs, after passing Athena Sherwood (1996-99) on Tuesday. Junior Rachel Smoltz collected a career-high 14 digs, and junior Haley Jeffcoat had 11 digs. Sophomore Kate Corson served up two aces.
Freshman Terese Cannon led three Hoyas in double figures with 15 kills, while senior Dani White totaled 14 kills and eight blocks. Junior Lauren Saar recorded 11 kills, 16 digs and three aces, while sophomore Caitlin Brauneis registered 45 assists and 15 digs. Senior MacKenzie Simpson led all players with 19 digs, while senior Alex Johnson had 12 digs.
The Lady Flames rallied from an early 15-9 deficit to claim set one, 25-22. Douglas and Weidner both sent down three kills during a 9-3 Liberty rally, tying the set, 18-18. Following back-to-back Georgetown points, a Lady Flames triple block sparked Liberty to a 3-0 run. Cannon tied the score at 22-all with a kill, before a Meribeth Kern kill sparked Liberty's three-point run to clinch the opening set.
Liberty outhit Georgetown, .188 to .067, during the first session, with Weidner's five kills leading all players. Saar served up two aces for the Hoyas during the set.
Set two was closely contested throughout. With Liberty leading 20-18, White scored a kill and added a block, tying the score. Douglas scored kills on consecutive Hoya serves, making it 22-21. Georgetown then scored the next three points to earn set point, 24-22. However, a Weidner-Jade Vorster block stopped the Hoyas' momentum, as Sirena Vorster and Weidner both sent down kills and Liberty won set two, 26-24.
Liberty held a slight .156-.132 edge in hitting during the second stanza. Weidner and Sirena Vorster both had four kills for Liberty, while Hoyas Saar and Cannon had four kills apiece.
Georgetown responded by winning a marathon third set, 27-25. Liberty turned a 20-16 deficit into a 22-20 lead with a 6-0 rally, with Jade Vorster assisting on three blocks during the run. The Hoyas rallied to tie the set, 22-22, but Liberty made it 24-23 when Weidner sent down a kill. The hosts fought off two match points, and White converted a kill for a 27-25 win to extend the match.
Liberty hit .279 during set three, compared to .226 for the Hoyas. The Lady Flames led in blocks, 5.5 to 4.0, with Jade Vorster posting five blocks during the session.
The visitors got off to a 13-1 lead in the final set, racing to a 25-16 win to claim the match, 3-1. Liberty converted at a .273 pace, while Georgetown hit .057. Weidner scored five kills to lead all players during set three.
The Lady Flames next travel to Providence, R.I., where they will compete in the Brown Invitational this weekend. Liberty opens the tournament with a 2:30 p.m. match against Central Connecticut State on Friday. While in Providence, the Lady Flames will also meet Brown, UMass-Lowell and Fairfield.