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Lady Flames Fall to ETSU in 3 Sets
East Tennessee State held off Liberty, 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-21) on Friday at Memorial Coliseum. The match featured the defending champions from the Big South and Atlantic Sun Conferences at this weekend's Kentucky Classic.
ETSU (3-2) ran its winning streak to three matches with the 3-0 victory, while the Lady Flames fell to 1-5 on the season with setbacks to VCU and East Tennessee State on Friday.
The Buccaneers recorded 45 kills at a .326 pace, while Liberty hit .103 with 28 kills. ETSU held a slight 32-29 edge in digs, while holding a 7-4 advantage in aces and outblocking Liberty, 9.0-6.0
Liberty senior Jade Craycraft paced the Lady Flames with eight kills and 19 assists. Senior Kendle Rollins and freshman Nzea McQuitery recorded three blocks each, while junior Gabrielle Shipe collected a team-high 11 digs.
ETSU's Megan Devine, a senior, recorded 15 kills to lead three Bucs in double figures in kills. Junior Jamie Rutledge had a match-high 36 assists, while junior Renzey Rice collected a match-best 14 digs.
The Buccaneers went on an early 10-0 run in set one, building a 12-1 lead. Liberty chipped away at the deficit, with a Becca Haraf ace making it 21-14, but ETSU pulled away for a 25-16 set victory.
ETSU outhit Liberty, .286-.000, in the opening set, and the Buccaneers were led by Meredith Hardy and Rice with four kills apiece. Craycraft sent down three kills for the Lady Flames.
The Lady Flames battled back from a 17-14 deficit in the second set, with Haley Jeffcoat posting an ace and two kills to even the set, 17-17. East Tennessee State and Liberty then traded three-point runs, leaving the score tied, 20-20, after a Rollins kill. Devine and Khadijah Wiley both scored a kill during a set-clinching 5-0 ETSU rally.
The Buccaneers hit .265 during set two, compared to .194 for the Lady Flames. Devine recorded six set-two kills, while Rollins posted two solo blocks.
The Lady Flames got off to a fast start in the final set, surging to a 15-8 advantage thanks to a pair of Monica Johnson-McQuitery blocks and multiple kills from Craycraft, McQuitery and Susan Babcock. ETSU scored the next six points, as part of a 10-3 run which pulled the teams even at 18-18. Liberty took a 19-18 lead on a block by Lillie Happel and McQuitery. Devine then scored three late kills and added a block as the Bucs closed the match on a 7-2 run.
ETSU outhit Liberty, .433-.107, during set three, and Devine recorded seven kills in the final stanza.
Liberty closes out its participation at the Kentucky Classic tomorrow, taking on the host, 21st-ranked Kentucky Wildcats at 11 a.m.