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Campbell Tops Liberty, 3-1
Liberty fought back from a 2-0 deficit to force a fourth set, before the host Campbell Camels held on for a 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21) victory over the Lady Flames, Saturday at the Gore Arena.
Campbell improves to 13-16, including 4-8 in Big South play, following the Camels' first win over Liberty since Oct. 7, 1997, a span of 10 matches. The Lady Flames fall to 22-8, 9-3 in conference matches following their third setback in a row. With two matches remaining in the regular season, Liberty is tied with Coastal Carolina for second in the Big South, one match behind new conference leader Radford (10-2).
The Camels held a .235 to .178 advantage in hitting percentage, while leading, 7-6, in aces. Both teams posted 11 blocks, while Liberty led in digs, 70-64.
Three Lady Flames scored 12 kills apiece, in freshman Gabrielle Vess, sophomore Nzea McQuitery and junior Jade Vorster. Vess added a season-high nine digs and three blocks to her season-best 12 kills. McQuitery tied her season high with six blocks, while Vorster had four blocks. Freshman Anna Willey posted her second career double-double, with 41 assists, a season-high 12 digs, two aces and six blocks. Senior Gabrielle Shipe collected 17 digs, followed by sophomore Kate Corson (13) and freshman Hannah Williams.
Campbell redshirt junior Alexis Hein recorded match highs of 15 kills and 18 digs. Junior Katelyn Layden had 11 kills, while sophomore Jenny Tait and redshirt season Jessica Groen scored 10 kills each. Tait and senior Lorin Thomas both posted six blocks. Freshman Summer Schuitema recorded 26 assists and three aces, while junior Mary Crema collected 13 digs.
Set one remained tightly contested throughout, with 11 ties and five lead changes. Thomas posted two kills and a block during a 6-1 Campbell run, as the Camels took a 19-15 lead. Liberty chipped away, and a Willey service ace tied the score, 21-21. Campbell outscored the Lady Flames, 5-1, the rest of the way, with Hein sending down three late kills to seal the 25-22 win.
Both teams hit for high average during the opening session, with Campbell hitting .349 and Liberty attacking at a .324 clip. Layden recorded six kills for the Camels, while Vess scored four kills.
Liberty led set two into its late stages, winning the race to 20 when a McQuitery kill made it 20-18, Lady Flames. Schuitema served up three straight aces during a 4-0 Campbell surge, as the hosts regained the lead, 22-20. McQuitery and Willey sent down consecutive kills, tying the set at 22-all. A Groen-Tait block sparked the Camels, as they closed out the second set, winning 25-23.
Campbell outhit Liberty, .195-.143, during the second set. The Camels also led, 4-3, in blocks. Hein and the Lady Flames' McQuitery had five kills apiece.
The Camels led the third set, 20-18, following a kill by Thomas. Liberty then staged a 4-1 burst, getting a block by McQuitery and a Vorster-Willey combo block to go ahead, 23-21. Four rally points wrapped up the set, with Liberty winning, 25-23, on a kill by Vorster.
Liberty posted four team blocks in the third session, holding Campbell to a .128 hitting percentage while hitting .108 itself. Hein recorded five kills, while Vess sent down four kills.
The hosts clinched the match with a 25-21 victory in the fourth set. Campbell ran out to a 22-13 lead, before Liberty stormed back to within three at 24-21 with an 8-2 run. Tait then scored the match-clinching kill, 25-21.
Campbell held a .256-.150 edge in hitting percentage during the final stanza. Willey assisted on all three of Liberty's set-four blocks.
The Lady Flames will conclude their 2014 regular season with a pair of home matches next weekend. Liberty hosts UNC Asheville at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, before facing Gardner-Webb on Saturday at 1 p.m.