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Winthrop Downs Liberty
Winthrop's volleyball team, ranked fourth this week in the Tachikara/AVCA East Region poll, rolled past visiting Liberty 3-0 (30-23, 30-24, 30-19) on Saturday afternoon to extend its home winning streak to 23 straight matches while remaining undefeated in Big South Conference play with an 11-0 record.
The victory also marked Winthrop's 32nd straight over a conference opponent and was the Eagles 14th straight win this season.
Freshman setter Chandra Ginest had her second consecutive error-free attack performance as she hit for a .667 average with six kills. She also added 34 assists, two service aces and three block assists for an outstanding overall performance. Senior outside hitter Mary Hock was the only Winthrop (21-4, 11-0 Big South) player to reach double digits in kills as she finished with 11.
For Liberty (8-17, 4-7 Big South), Jessica Nelson (So., Tokyo, Japan) posted a team-high 13 kills as she was the only Lady Flames to manage double-digit kills, Lara Bartolomeo (So., Hunting Beach, Calif.) recorded 31 assists.
For the second match in two days, Winthrop overpowered its opponent with a balanced offensive attack. The Eagles finished the match with a team attack percentage of .248 compared to .046 by the Flames.
In addition to Ginest's performance, Winthrop got another strong effort from rightside hitter Caitlin Cleary who hit a career-best .636 with seven kills and no errors in 11 attempts. Junior middle hitter Taryn Surbaugh turned in a strong defensive performance at the net with one block solo and five block assists. As a team, Winthrop had 8.5 blocks compared to 4.5 for Liberty.
"We played good through spurts, but our passing broke down and we let little runs go," stated head coach Shane Pinder. "In those breakdowns we got predictable and Winthrop took advantage of that."
Liberty will return to action on Tuesday, November 1, when they take a break from conference action as they travel to Charlotte, N.C., and take on Charlotte at 7 p.m.