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Lady Flames Drop 3-0 Decision to Appalachian State
With the setback, Liberty's record is now 0-5. Appalachian State improves to 4-3.
Appalachian State started the match quickly. After a kill by Liberty senior middle blocker Rachel Denton (Burnet, Texas) tied the score at 1, the Mountaineers ran off four straight points.
A 7-0 burst by Appalachian State midway through the first game gave the Mountaineers a commanding 18-4 lead. From that point, Appalachian State cruised to a 30-15 victory.
Junior right-side hitter Mary Alice Pike (Durham, N.C.) was a bright spot for the Lady Flames in the opening game, recording six of the team's 12 kills. She would continue her stellar play all evening, eventually totaling a Liberty season-high 13 kills and five digs.
Liberty got off to a better start in the second game. Freshman middle blocker Stephanie Stow (Murrieta, Calif.) provided a kill that knotted the score at 7. Appalachian State tallied the next three points, however, and went on for a 30-18 decision.
Stow provided a spark for the Lady Flames in that second game, recording kills on three of her five attack attempts. On the evening, she totaled a career-best eight kills and a .353 attack percentage.
Appalachian State looked to be sailing towards a three-game sweep after the Mountaineers took a 16-4 lead in the third game. Liberty did not fold, however. The Lady Flames trimmed the Appalachian State advantage to just one point on two occasions.
A dump by freshman setter Kallie Corbin (Beaverton, Ore.) cut the margin to 23-22. Two plays later, Corbin assisted on a Stow kill that made it 24-23.
The Mountaineers regrouped as Brittany Zahn tallied four of her 14 kills in the match's waning moments, helping Appalachian State escape with a 30-24 decision.
While Pike and Stow keyed the Liberty offensive attack, Lara Bartolomeo (Jr., S/DS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the way on defense, contributing 10 digs. Corbin added eight digs to complement her 25 assists. Denton paced the squad with three blocks.
Chrissy Finch led Appalachian State with 15 kills and a .577 attack percentage. Carla Durham added six blocks.
Liberty will remain at Virginia Tech for a pair of Saturday matches. The Lady Flames will meet the host Hokies at noon before wrapping up their weekend action with a 5 p.m. tilt against George Washington.