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Army Outlasts Liberty in Five Games
Army finished its own tournament 3-0, improving to 10-2 on the year. Liberty will return to Lynchburg with a 2-8 ledger.
The host Black Knights enjoyed a relatively easy first game, scoring the first six points of the match and leading wire-to-wire in a 30-18 triumph.
Game two was knotted up on 10 separate occasions before an Ashley Webber (So., MB, Lakeside, Calif.) kill gave the Lady Flames the lead for good, 14-13. Webber then served for the next four points, with Pike recording a pair of kills during the burst that put Liberty on its way to a 30-21 victory.
Liberty led for the better part of game three. A kill by Alysson Sanders (R-So., OH, Bear, Del.) gave the Lady Flames their largest advantage, 16-9. While Army clawed its way back into the game, Liberty would get a chance to serve for the match up, 29-28.
The Lady Flames were unable to capitalize on that opportunity and tournament MVP Elizabeth Lazzari took over. She provided kills for Army's last three points, including the one that made it 33-31. Lazzari ended the night with 25 kills, 19 digs and four block assists.
Liberty responded well to the disappointment of game three, leading for much of the fourth game. Army kept things interesting, pulling to within two at 26-24 on a Danielle Cooper kill. However, the Lady Flames closed out the game with four straight points, including a kill by Kendall Nichols (So., OH, Hoover, Ala.) and a combined block by Nichols and Autum Black (Sr., MB, Mingoville, Pa.).
With each team winning two of the first four games, Liberty entered a decisive fifth game for the first time in the 2006 season. Army jumped out in front, 4-1, using three early Lazzari kills. Liberty came back to tie the score at nine apiece on Black's season-high 14th kill of the match.
The Black Knights' Briana Stremick then took control of the match, ending each of the succeeding three points with kills as Army went on to a 15-10 decision.
Corbin played the best match of her young career at Liberty, statistically speaking, setting career highs in assists (48), digs (22) and kills (8) and adding a team-best three service aces. She earned all-tournament laurels for the second straight weekend after taking the same honor at Virginia Tech.
Pike equaled a career high with 18 kills and nearly recorded a double-double, ending up with nine digs. Sanders did post a double-double for the third time in her last five appearances, contributing 10 kills and 12 digs.
Lara Bartolomeo (Jr., S/DS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) led all players with her 33 digs. That total represents a Liberty season high and is two off of her personal best total. Black led the Lady Flames with six blocks (two solo, four assists).
Army got 60 assists from Maureen Bannon and 20 digs from Eileen Cassidy.
Liberty will now prepare for a trip to James Madison on Tuesday for a non-conference affair. Match time against the Dukes is set for 7 p.m.