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Liberty Sweeps UNC Asheville, Picks Up 1st Big South Win
The Liberty volleyball team rolled to a 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-15) sweep of visiting UNC Asheville on Saturday, picking up its first Big South win of the 2013 season. The Lady Flames also snapped an 11-match winless streak, winning for the first time since a 3-1 home victory over Georgetown on Sept. 3.
The Lady Flames (2-14, 1-2 Big South) are now 2-1 inside the Vines Center this season. Asheville (10-8, 1-2) lost for the second day in a row, after being swept by Radford last night.
Liberty owned the net, posting 12 blocks to zero for the Bulldogs, as the Lady Flames outhit Asheville, .278-.017. Liberty's .278 attack percentage was its highest in a single match so far this season. The hosts won the digs battle, 59-54.
Liberty senior Lillie Happel scored a match-high 12 kills, in addition to nine digs and four blocks. Happel is now ranked 12th all-time at Liberty with 1,092 career kills. Sophomore Haley Jeffcoat recorded 10 kills, while freshman Nzea McQuitery totaled seven blocks. Senior Jade Craycraft registered a double-double for the fourth match in a row, with 24 assists and 14 digs. Sophomore Allie Reynolds collected a team-high 15 digs, while junior Gabrielle Shipe had 11 digs.
Freshman Madison Vaughn led the Bulldogs with seven kills, while senior Rachel Wells collected a match-high 18 digs. Sophomore Katie Davis dished out a team-high 23 assists.
The Lady Flames jumped out to a 10-3 advantage during set one, and Asheville drew to within six but could get no closer, as Liberty won the opening stanza, 25-14. Liberty hit .333, while the Bulldogs hit -.088, as the Lady Flames totaled five team blocks. Jeffcoat sent down four kills for the Lady Flames, and Susan Babcock assisted on four blocks.
Similarly to set one, Liberty controlled the middle set from the outset, building a 15-10 lead after 25 serves. The Lady Flames maintained a sizeable lead throughout, taking a 2-0 match lead by winning set two, 25-17. Liberty outhit the Bulldogs, .258-.051 during the second set. Asheville's Vaughn connected for five kills in set two, while Happel and Jeffcoat scored four kills apiece for the hosts.
Liberty broke away from Asheville in set three, with a five-point run giving the Lady Flames a 20-10 edge, which proved to be the winning margin, 25-15, as the hosts wrapped up the sweep. Liberty's four blocks helped keep Asheville to a .067 hitting percentage, while the Lady Flames hit .255. McQuitery recorded three blocks, while Happel scored five kills. Christine Lakatos countered with four kills for the visitors.
Liberty hits the road for its next two contests, starting with a 7 p.m. match at Campbell, next Friday. The Lady Flames then head to High Point to take on the Panthers, next Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Millis Center.