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Lady Flames Drop Decision To Conference-Leading Winthrop
The Lady Flames, who had won their last two Big South matches, saw their Big South record even at 3-3. Liberty is 5-13 overall. Meanwhile, the Eagles are now 22-2 overall and 6-0 in conference matches.
A pair of kills by Emily Stockman helped the home team get off to an 8-2 lead at the beginning of game one. Liberty hung tough, drawing to within four at 21-17 after a Kendall Nichols (So., OH, Hoover, Ala.) kill.
Winthrop's Tori Grafeman then provided back-to-back kills during a 3-0 burst that allowed the Eagles to regain control of the match. Winthrop took game one by a 30-20 count after hitting .433 in the stanza. The home team would go on to hit .488 for the match.
The second game was close in the early going. Liberty twice held leads and was still within three points (11-8) when Stephanie Stow (Fr., MB, Murrieta, Calif.) put down a kill. It was then that Winthrop broke things open. The Eagles tallied the next 11 points, four of them coming by way of a block. After seizing a 22-8 advantage, Winthrop went on for a 30-17 decision.
Outside hitter Alysson Sanders (R-So., Bear, Del.) got the visitors off and running in game three. She tallied two early kills, helping Liberty score three of the first four points. Winthrop did not take the lead for good until Taryn Surbaugh put down one of her team-best 12 kills to make it 12-11.
The game three score stood at 17-14 in favor of Winthrop when the Eagles fashioned a 10-1 run. Shannon Sitzman totaled four kills during that run that sent the home team on its way to a 30-18 victory.
Sanders enjoyed a splendid offensive evening for the Lady Flames, recording a team-high 12 kills and finishing with a .579 attack percentage. Autum Black (Sr., MB, Mingoville, Pa.) added seven kills and a team best three block assists.
Kallie Corbin (Fr., S, Beaverton, Ore.) paced Liberty with 28 assists, while Lara Bartolomeo (Jr., S/DS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) came up with seven digs.
Surbaugh tallied her 12 kills for Winthrop in just 15 attempts, recording an .800 attack percentage. Stockman and Sitzman posted nine kills apiece, while Pohai Nu'uhiwa led all players with 10 digs.
The Lady Flames will now meet High Point (6-14, 4-2 Big South) on Saturday at the Millis Center. Match time is set for 2 p.m.