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William & Mary Holds On for 3-1 Win Over Liberty
William & Mary and Liberty traded set victories, before the host Tribe pulled away for a 3-1 (25-12, 21-25, 27-25, 25-21) victory over the Lady Flames, Tuesday at Kaplan Arena.
With the win, William & Mary (5-12) snapped a five-match winless streak, while the Lady Flames' losing streak extends to 10 contests. The Tribe avenged a 3-1 loss to Liberty in the teams' last meeting, Aug. 28, 2012 in the Vines Center.
William & Mary hit .274 for the match, while Liberty attacked at a .161 clip. The Tribe led, 84-83 in digs, and 7-5 in blocks. Liberty's 83 digs were the team's most since recording 94 digs at UNC Asheville on Nov. 12, 2011.
Liberty senior Jade Craycraft posted her second career triple-double, with 10 kills, 38 assists and 12 digs, to go along with three blocks. Sophomore Allie Reynolds led all players with a career-high 24 digs, the most by a Lady Flame this season. Senior Lillie Happel recorded 17 kills and 15 digs, while freshman Susan Babcock tied her career high with 11 kills. Senior Becca Haraf contributed a season-best 15 digs, and junior Gabrielle Shipe collected 11 digs.
Junior Liz Brown connected for a match-high 19 kills for the Tribe, followed by sophomore Dessi Koleva, who registered 18 kills and 16 digs. Freshman Stephanie Paul dished out 50 assists, while redshirt-junior Paulette Grand Pre collected 21 digs.
The Tribe jumped out to a quick 7-1 lead during the opening set, on the way to a 25-12 victory. William & Mary connected at a .483 pace in the frame, compared to .094 for the Lady Flames. Brown led all players with four set-one kills, while three Lady Flames sent down two kills apiece.
The Lady Flames responded in set two, tying the match by winning, 25-21. Liberty led, 18-14, following a kill by Happel. William & Mary staged a 4-1 run to draw to within one, 19-18. Leading, 21-20, the Lady Flames closed the set on a 4-1 rally, clinching the frame with back-to-back kills from Nzea McQuitery and Happel.
Liberty outhit William & Mary, .262-.212, in the second set. Happel posted a set-high seven kills, while Brown scored six kills for the Tribe.
Liberty held a 15-13 set-three advantage, before the Tribe went on a 7-1 run that featured three Koleva kills. Craycraft then sent down a kill to end the rally, and Happel trimmed the deficit to 22-21 with a kill of her own. After two straight Tribe points, Babcock scored two kills, and a Rollins winner tied the set at 24-24. William & Mary cashed in on its second set-point try, 27-25.
The Tribe hit .275 in set three, while Liberty hit .190. The Tribe's Koleva recorded seven kills, while Babcock registered six kills and Craycraft had five kills.
William & Mary opened up an 18-14 lead in set four off of consecutive blocks. The Lady Flames bounced back, tying the set, 20-20 on an attack error by William & Mary which capped a 6-2 Liberty run. A Koleva kill sandwiched between two Liberty miscues gave the Tribe a 23-20 lead. Happel sent down a kill, making it 23-21, before a pair of William & Mary points ended the match.
Happel sent down six kills during set four, to lead all players, while William & Mary's Brown and Koleva both recorded five kills.
Liberty will return to Lynchburg for its first home match since Sept. 3, taking on Gardner-Webb on Friday night at 7 p.m. inside the Vines Center. The Lady Flames will then host UNC Asheville at 2 p.m., Saturday.