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Seton Hall Outlasts Liberty for 3-1 Win
The Liberty volleyball team won set one against Seton Hall Friday, but the Pirates rallied for a 3-1 victory (19-25, 25-15, 25-23, 26-24) over the Lady Flames in the first match of the Hotel Inn West Invitational at Western Michigan's University Arena.
Liberty's (1-4) Lillie Happel posted a career-high 25 kills, topping her previous career high of 19, set Nov. 9, 2010 at Radford. Kelly Haseman collected a season-high 19 digs, and she has now passed Lara Bartolomeo (2004-07) for fourth place all-time on Liberty's career digs list (1,578). Jade Craycraft added a double-double with 38 assists and 10 digs.
Seton Hall (2-1) started out each set on a lengthy run, and posted 12 team blocks, compared to a season-high 11.5 blocks for the Lady Flames. Seton Hall hit .241 with 54 kills, compared to .180 on 52 kills for Liberty, while both teams recorded 64 digs.
Seton Hall surged out to a 9-3 lead with a 7-1 rally to open the match, capped by a kill by Shelbey Manthorpe. The Lady Flames responded with a six-point surge, getting two kills from Craycraft and one from Happel, and a block by Craycraft and Kendle Rollins tied the set at 9-9. Happel gave Liberty the lead, 11-10, with back-to-back kills, aiding the team's surge to a five-point lead, 19-14.
The Pirates drew to within two points with a 3-0 burst, and a Manthorpe kill prompted Liberty's second timeout. Ansley Gebben sent down a kill out of the huddle to spark a 4-1 rally for a 23-18 lead. Craycraft served up an ace to seal the 25-19 set-one victory for Liberty.
The Lady Flames hit .368 during the first set, recording 17 kills, and Happel led the way with seven kills. Haseman collected seven of Liberty's 18 digs. Seton Hall posted a .257 hitting percentage while registering 12 kills and 15 digs.
Set two saw Seton Hall build an 11-6 lead after 17 serves, as Liberty struggled to find an attacking rhythm. Kaylee Groeneveld ended a five-point run with a kill, making the score 11-7. The Pirates continued to take advantage of Liberty errors, getting a pair of aces to go with kills by Manthorpe on the way to an 18-9 Seton Hall lead.
Liberty bounced back with a 4-1 run, getting two kills from Happel, a block by Thomas and a Gebben kill to cut the margin to six at 19-13. Head coach Shane Pinder called a timeout with his team trailing, 22-14. The Pirates tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-15 win in set two.
The Lady Flames hit for a negative percentage during the second set, recording seven kills and 11 errors. Happel posted a team-high four kills for set two. Seton Hall posted a .241 attack efficiency on 12 kills, with Manthorpe converting three kills.
Seton Hall scored the first five points of set three on the way to an early 6-1 lead. Happel and Rollins both recorded kills around a block by Groeneveld and Rollins to trim the deficit to two at 6-4. Seton Hall regained the serve, the first of seven rally points yielding a 10-8 score. The Lady Flames edged into the lead, 11-10 with a 4-0 rally that featured two kills by Happel and one from Thomas. The Pirates reached 15 points first, to Liberty's 14.
Rollins tied the set at 15-15 with her fourth kill of the set. The teams battled back and forth in a tight set, and back-to-back Seton Hall points put the Pirates ahead, 19-18, drawing a timeout. Happel recorded kills on Seton Hall's next three serves, and Liberty trailed 22-21. The Pirates scored the next two points for a 24-21 lead, but kills by Happel and Craycraft kept Liberty alive, 24-23. Seton Hall capitalized on a Lady Flames error for a 2-1 match lead, 25-23.
Both teams hit for high percentages in set three, with Seton Hall leading, .355 to .302. Happel posted nine kills to lead all players, giving her 21 kills after three sets. Hugeback recorded five kills to lead Seton Hall.
Set four began similarly to the first three, with Seton Hall jumping out to an early advantage at 5-0 on the strength of three kills and two blocks. Trailing 7-4, Rollins scored a kill and then paired with Gebben for a block to produce a 7-6 score and force a quick Seton Hall timeout. Liberty miscues aided a 5-2 Pirates run to a 12-8 lead. Happel and Thomas sent down kills, and a block by Thomas and Craycraft capped a 5-0 Liberty run, giving Liberty the lead at 13-12.
Seton Hall inched ahead, 14-13 on a kill by Morgan DeVries, part of a 7-2 spurt that gave Seton Hall a 19-15 edge. Meghan Bonk earned a 20-16 edge with a kill, leading to a Liberty timeout. Liberty blocked a Pirate attack to stay within three, 21-18.
Seton Hall won an extended rally for a 23-21 lead, and had three match point chances go by the boards as Happel tied the set, 24-24 with a kill. Seton Hall converted its next clinching opportunity, winning 26-24 for a 3-1 match victory.
Happel's 25 kills led the way, with Rollins adding a season-high nine kills and six blocks (one solo, five blocks). Craycraft added four blocks and two aces to her double-double, while Gabrielle Shipe registered a season-high 13 digs. Thomas recorded four blocks.
For Seton Hall, Meghan Matusiak led with 13 kills, and added 13 digs for a double-double. DeVries sent down 11 kills for the Pirates, and Warren notched a match-high 20 digs. Bonk led all players with eight total blocks.
The Lady Flames return to the court Saturday at noon for a match against host institution Western Michigan. Seton Hall continues its stay in Kalamazoo with a 10 a.m. contest Saturday versus North Carolina.