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Rollins Highlights Win with 13 Kills
Kendle Rollins posted a career-high 13 kills and the Lady Flames recorded a season-high 12 team blocks, as Liberty came back from a one-set deficit to defeat Coastal Carolina, 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-20), Saturday afternoon, at the Vines Center.
The match marked the first time Liberty has posted 12 blocks since Sept. 21, 2008, in a 3-0 win over UC Irvine.
The teams' first meeting since the 2009 Big South Championship title match was a defense-dominated contest, as the Lady Flames hit .159 and the Chanticleers recorded a .130 attack percentage.
With the win, Liberty improves to 15-7 overall and 6-1 in Big South Conference play, while Coastal Carolina drops to 10-10 overall and 3-3 in the conference.
There was only one tie score and one lead change in the opening set, as Coastal Carolina held an advantage throughout. The Chanticleers jumped out to a quick 5-1 lead on a service ace by Megan Bickford, and never looked back. Liberty came with one point on two different occasions, at 9-8 and 19-18, but the Chanticleers pulled away, taking four straight points for the 25-19 win.
Coastal Carolina hit .225 in the opening set, and held the Lady Flames to .098. Amanda Russell led the Chanticleer attack with four kills, followed by 2010 Big South Preseason Player of the Year Chelsy Kimes, who added three kills.
Rollins led Liberty with four kills, while Jade Craycraft posted 12 assists.
The second frame mirrored the first in the beginning, as Coastal took an early 7-3 lead. But Karyl Bacon notched a kill and immediate service ace to bring the Lady Flames within one point at 8-7, and Liberty remained hot on the Chanticleers' tail before taking the lead at 18-17, marking the first Lady Flame lead since 1-0 in the opening set.
At 21-18 in Liberty's favor, the Lady Flames went on a 4-1 run highlighted by two Anderson kills, and won the set on a Sierra Livesay service error, 25-19.
The second set was a defensive battle, as Coastal Carolina only hit .027 and Liberty was even at .000. Kimes led all players with five kills, followed by Anderson with three for Liberty. The Lady Flames also tallied five team blocks.
The Liberty offense fared better in the third set, finding a groove with 12 kills and a .172 attack percentage, and held Coastal to .062. With six tie scores and four lead changes, it was the closest set of the contest.
The score went back and forth until Coastal pulled away, 13-9, after three consecutive Liberty attack errors. But the Lady Flames stayed focused, tying it up, 15-all, and then taking a 16-15 lead on a Loren Thomas kill.
Liberty extended its advantage to 21-17 on a service ace by Kelly Haseman, and the Chanticleers saved three set points before Rollins sealed the 25-21 victory with a kill from Craycraft.
Thomas was 3-for-4 in attacks, while Kimes tallied three kills for Coastal. The Lady Flames also added four more team blocks, and Haseman contributed her first kill of the season.
Liberty never trailed in the final set, and the score was only tied twice, at 6-6 and 7-7. The Chanticleers stayed close until a Bacon kill extended the lead to 21-17. Coastal Carolina was able to take three more points from Liberty, but Craycraft recorded a surprise kill at 24-20, sealing the 25-20 fourth set win, and the match victory.
Rollins and Bacon led all players with five kills apiece in the final set, while Craycraft paced both teams with 12 assists.
Erika Lightsey led Coastal with four kills, followed by Kimes and Meghan Laffin with three kills each.
Overall, Kimes led both teams with 14 kills, followed by Rollins with her career-high 13.
Bacon and Anderson added nine kills apiece for Liberty, while Lightsey and Laffin helped Coastal Carolina with eight kills each.
Bacon now has 993 career kills, and only needs seven more to become the ninth player in program history to record 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills.
Craycraft notched 38 assists over Kelsie Mauck's 36 for Coastal Carolina, and Haseman led all players with 20 digs.
Rollins and Thomas each had five blocks for Liberty, while Laffin leapt for six blocks for the Chanticleers.
The Lady Flames are back on the road next weekend, continuing Big South play with a matchup against UNC Asheville in Asheville, N.C., Saturday at 2 p.m.
Coastal Carolina is back in action on Friday, hosting High Point at 7 p.m.