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Craycraft's Career Highs Lead LU in Sweep
Freshman setter Jade Craycraft posted a career-high seven kills and a .778 attack percentage to help lead the Liberty Lady Flames to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-15) sweep over the Highlanders of Radford, Tuesday night, at the Vines Center.
Sophomore outside hitter Hannah Anderson also had a big night, recording a career-high four service aces in the win.
With the victory, the Lady Flames improve to 14-7 overall and 5-1 in Big South Conference play, remaining in the league's top spot. Radford drops to 6-12 overall and 0-4 in the Big South. The Lady Flames have now won 11 straight meetings between the two schools at the Vines Center, and the last 18 matchups overall.
Liberty put pressure on the visitors early, holding the Highlanders to just a .161 hitting percentage in the opening set. The Lady Flames hit .355 as a team, led by freshman Lillie Happel with four kills.
The first set saw three lead changes and eight tie scores, until Liberty pulled away at 17-15 on a kill by Karyl Bacon. Then, Anderson kicked off a 4-0 run for Liberty with an ace, and a Happel kill sealed the 25-18 win.
Radford's Laura Waddell led all players with six kills. Bacon added three for Liberty while Craycraft put up 11 assists.
The Lady Flames dominated the second frame, as they led the entire set. Liberty once again shut down the Radford attack system, holding the Highlanders to a .071 hitting percentage, while posting a .375 percentage of its own.
The Lady Flames led by as many as 13 points at 23-10 and 24-11, and Radford held on to save three Liberty set points. But Bacon clinched the set with a kill set up by Lauren Bosche, taking a 25-13 decision.
Bacon led all players in the second set with six kills, while Waddell contributed four kills for Radford. Liberty libero Kelly Haseman notched eight digs alone, while the entire Radford team accounted for eight total digs in the set.
The Lady Flames didn't let up in the third set, staying consistent on offense with a .355 attack percentage. Four kills by Bacon and three from both Craycraft and Loren Thomas helped Liberty maintain its edge, as the Lady Flames quickly found themselves with a 10-point lead at 20-10.
Once again, the Highlanders were able to shrug off a few set points, winning four straight to bring the score to 24-15. But Kendle Rollins and Erica Manor jumped for a match-ending block to settle the sweep with a 25-15 third-set score.
Bacon's four kills once again led all players, while Craycraft was 3-for-3 in attacks. Radford's Jesse Miedema stepped up for three kills in the final set, while Desiree Aramburu put up 10 helpers.
Overall, Bacon led all players in the match with 13 kills, while hitting .500 and committing no errors. Bacon continues inching closer to the 1,000-kill mark, as she now sits at 984. Liberty was also assisted by eight kills from Happel and seven from Rollins. Craycraft out-assisted Radford setter Aramburu, 29-27, while Haseman led all players in digs with 16.
Waddell, a graduate of E.C. Glass High School, led the Highlanders with 12 kills in her final collegiate appearance in her hometown, while libero Storm Melnick crouched for 11 total digs.
Liberty is back in action at home on Saturday, hosting Coastal Carolina at noon for a rematch of the 2009 Big South Championship title contest. The Highlanders return home to welcome Presbyterian College for a Big South matchup on Friday at 7 p.m.