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Kansas Earns Sweep of Lady Flames
The Liberty Lady Flames opened day two of the Hotel Indigo Bulldog Invitational with a 3-0 setback (25-21, 25-13, 25-9) to Kansas, Saturday at the Ramsey Center on the campus of Georgia.
Liberty (0-2) battled the Jayhawks (2-0) of the Big 12 in a closely played first set, with KU surging at the end. The Jayhawks then hit .500 for the remainder of the match, while the Lady Flames hit a negative percentage over that span.
An early 4-0 rally propelled the Jayhawks to a 6-2 lead in the first set. Ansley Gebben notched a kill and assisted Kendle Rollins on a block to draw Liberty to within two at 6-4. A Jade Craycraft kill and a pair of aces by Courtney Cooper, followed by a Kansas error, gave the Lady Flames a 10-9 advantage. Liberty led, 13-11, after two kills by Loren Thomas and a block by Thomas and Melissa Racz. KU's Sara McClinton sent down a kill and Brianne Riley added an ace to even the set at 14. On the following point, Kansas took the lead on a Liberty error.
The Jayhawks built their edge to three, 17-14, capping a 5-0 rally with a kill by Kara Wehrs. Trailing 18-15, Rollins and Gebben teamed up for a block and another Kansas error led to an 18-17 score. After KU ran off three consecutive points to take a 21-18 advantage, Craycraft earned a kill, and an error by McClinton made it a one-point set. A pair of extended rallies ended in Kansas points, and a 23-20 advantage for KU. Lillie Happel added a kill, but Kansas earned an ace on its set point chance, winning set one, 25-21.
Kansas posted a .235 hitting percentage in set one, to .207 for Liberty. Both teams posted three blocks. Gebben led Liberty with four kills, while Cooper notched two aces. Allison Mayfield led all players with six kills in the first set.
The teams traded rally points during the opening of the second set. Mayfield posted two straight kills, sparking a 4-1 rally for an 8-5 Jayhawk edge. A kill by Rollins brought Liberty to within two, 9-7, during the middle of six straight service exchanges. Liberty committed two attack errors, and a Kansas block led to a 13-8 score, forcing Liberty head coach Shane Pinder to call a timeout.
The Jayhawks moved their lead to eight at 16-8, with two kills and an ace. Thomas sent down a kill to temporarily stem the tide, and added another to trim the margin to 18-10. Kansas ended the set on a 7-3 surge, taking a 2-0 lead with a 25-13 set two victory.
KU hit .346 for the second set, while Liberty recorded seven kills with seven errors. The Jayhawks registered three blocks and four aces. Thomas led Liberty with three kills in set two, while Mayfield recorded six kills.
Set three began with a 4-0 burst by Kansas. Racz gave Liberty its first point with a kill, the first in a string of three rally points that left the score at 6-2. A 5-1 rally by Kansas, including a pair of kills apiece by Mayfield and Caroline Jarmoc led to a Liberty timeout. KU continued to build on its advantage, racing to a 15-3 lead, before a ball-handling error sent the serve back to Liberty.
With Kansas maintaining its double-digit lead, Thomas and Gebben posted back-to-back kills for a 19-9 score. Kansas scored the last six points of the match, taking the set, 25-9, to claim a three-set match.
Kansas went 14-for-20 on the attack during the third set, good for a .700 percentage, while Liberty went -.031.
For the match, Kansas hit .387 to .057 for the Lady Flames. The Jayhawks served up 10 aces and posted nine team blocks, out-digging Liberty, 35-26. Liberty posted three aces and three blocks.
Gebben, a freshman, led the Lady Flames with eight kills and two block assists. Thomas added seven kills, while Lillie Happel paced the Lady Flames with nine digs. Craycraft dished out 22 assists, and Rollins assisted on two blocks.
Mayfield recorded a match-high 17 of Kansas' 40 kills, hitting .484, while Jarmoc hit 9-for-10. Morgan Boub posted four service aces, and Jarmoc had five block assists. Kara Wehrs led all players with 32 assists.
The Lady Flames will face Florida A&M at 4:30 p.m. to conclude their stay in Athens. Kansas closes out the Bulldog Invitational against host institution Georgia at 7 p.m.