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20-20 Vision; Douglas, Weidner Lead Lady Flames to 20th Win, 3-1 at Coastal
Liberty redshirt junior Caroline Douglas and freshman Hannah Weidner both topped 20 kills on Saturday, helping Liberty earn its 20th win, and 11th in a row, as the Lady Flames down Coastal Carolina, 3-1 (21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19), Saturday at The HTC Center.
The Lady Flames (20-5, 7-0) maintain their lead over the Chanticleers, finishing the first half of conference play with a perfect 7-0 record. Liberty's 11-match winning streak is its longest since a 16-match streak in 2007. Coastal Carolina falls to 15-5, 5-2 in conference play after seeing its five-match winning streak end. Liberty is the second team in NCAA Division I to reach 20 wins this season, following Colorado State's 20th win last night.
Douglas sent down 22 kills and added 13 digs for her 10th double-double and 10th 20-kill match of the season. In the process, Douglas became the 15th member of Liberty's 1,000-kill club with 1,007. Weidner scored a career-high 20 kills at a .304 pace. The last time two Lady Flames reached 20 kills in the same match was Nov. 12, 2011 at UNC Asheville, when Lillie Happel had 21 kills and Loren Thomas recorded 20 kills.
For the match, Liberty outhit Coastal Carolina, .277-.238. The Lady Flames held a 75-73 edge in digs, and 2-1 in aces. The Chanticleers led, 9-4, in blocks.
Liberty junior Caila Stapleton dished out a match-high 50 assists, in addition to 12 digs and seven kills. She has posted 11 straight 40-assist matches. Junior Jade Vorster recorded eight kills and three blocks. Sophomore Kate Corson tied her career high with 14 digs, while senior Gabrielle Shipe collected 13 digs. Shipe has reached an even 1,600 digs for her career, passing Jennifer Belk (2001-04) into fourth all-time at Liberty.
Freshman Leah Hardeman scored a match-high 24 kills at .404, adding 11 digs for Coastal Carolina. Junior Lian Bernett totaled 13 kills and 16 digs, while senior Sam Skryd had 49 assists and 12 digs. Junior Eszter Nagy recorded nine kills and five blocks, while senior Jenna Orner collected a match-high 26 digs.
Coastal Carolina took a quick, 20-8, lead, and still led, 23-13, after a kill from Hardeman. Weidner scored back-to-back kills, before the Chanticleers earned set point at 24-15. Three straight Weidner kills sparked Liberty's 6-0 rally, before Nagy scored a kill to clinch the hosts' 25-21 victory.
The Chanticleers outhit Liberty, .302-.182, during set one. Weidner led all players with seven kills, while Coastal was led by Hardeman's five kills.
The Lady Flames used an 8-2 run to take the lead, 18-16, during the second set. Coastal Carolina rallied back into the lead, 20-18, when Nagy capped a 4-0 surge with a block. Annayaka Legros made it 23-21, with a kill, and a Miona Milovanovich gave the hosts set point at 24-22 with a kill. Douglas then sent down a kill, and Liberty scored four point in a row, as a Vorster block clinched the set, 26-24.
Liberty hit .295 in set two, while the Chanticleers hit .208. Hardeman scored seven kills, and Liberty's Douglas answered with six kills.
The guests took control of set three early, building a 16-10 lead after a Douglas kill. The Lady Flames led, 22-18, before Coastal went on a late surge. Katie Martin scored a kill, and the Chanticleers drew to within 23-22 after a 4-1 run. Douglas then scored a kill, and Gabrielle Vess stuffed an attempt for a 25-22 victory.
Liberty outhit Coastal, .324-.273, in the third stanza. Douglas and Hardeman registered seven kills apiece.
The Lady Flames pulled away for a 25-19, set-four victory to seal the match win. Weidner scored a kill to boost Liberty's lead to 19-16, before Coastal rallied to within one, 20-19, after a Nagy block. Liberty scored the final five points in a row, and Stapleton scored the final kill.
Liberty hit .317, compared to .175 for Coastal, in set four. Weidner registered six kills, while Hardeman answered with five.
The Lady Flames return home for their next two matches, playing host to Presbyterian on Friday at 7 p.m. before a 1 p.m. match against Winthrop, Saturday at the Vines Center.