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UNC Asheville Deals Lady Flames 3-0 Setback
Liberty is now 3-10 overall and an even 1-1 in conference action. Asheville moves to 4-12 and remains tied for the early-season conference lead with a perfect 2-0 mark.
In the opening game, Liberty rolled out to a 7-1 lead before the Bulldogs rallied back to tie the game at 21-21. The teams traded points before Asheville went on a 6-1 run to the game and win, 30-25.
The Lady Flames again jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the second game. Back-to-back kills by Alysson Sanders (R-So., OH, Bear, Del.) highlighted the surge. Liberty maintained its advantage throughout nearly the entire game. Two Bulldog attack errors gave the visitors a 27-22 lead. However, Asheville roared back with an 8-1 run to take the game, 30-28.
Kaitlyn McDaniel started the run with her serving as the Bulldogs scored seven straight points to go up, 29-27. Sanders got a kill to cut the lead to 29-28. Asheville's Elif Unlu then ended the game with a kill, one of 16 for her on the evening.
The third game saw Liberty once again starting out on fire as it led 10-3 in the early stages. Junior right-side hitter Mary Alice Pike (Durham, N.C.) notched a trio of kills to key the quick start for the Lady Flames. The Bulldogs quickly rallied and went on an impressive 12-0 run to race to a 15-10 lead. Liberty was unable to overcome that decisive shift in momentum and UNC Asheville claimed a home conference victory.
Sanders paced the Lady Flames with 10 kills and three service aces, while Pike had seven kills of her own. Setter Kallie Corbin (Fr., Beaverton, Ore.) added 27 assists and a team-high 14 digs. Lara Bartolomeo (Jr., S/DS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) finished with 13 digs and two service aces. Autum Black (Sr., MB, Mingoville, Pa.) proved to be head coach Shane Pinder's most efficient hitter. She tallied six kills and a .364 attack percentage.
Unlu picked up her 10th double-double of the season, adding 10 digs to her offensive exploits. Raquel Miotto led the Bulldogs with 15 digs, while McDaniel had 11 digs, 33 assists and four service aces.
Liberty plays next at Birmingham-Southern Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. EST, wrapping up a brief, two-match conference road swing. The Bulldogs host league rival Radford Sunday at 2 p.m.