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Liberty Earns 3-1 Home Win Over Coastal

October 14, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Melissa Racz posted a career-high 10 kills Friday, while Erica Manor set new career bests with three solo blocks and six total blocks.

Coastal Carolina outlasted Liberty, 30-28, in set one, but the Lady Flames rallied for a 3-1 win (28-30, 25-23, 25-13, 25-18) over the Chanticleers Friday at the Vines Center.

The Lady Flames advanced their record to 10-11, with a 5-1 Big South standing. Liberty remains tied with Winthrop atop the league standings after Friday night's action. Coastal Carolina fell to 8-14, including 2-4 in conference competition.

Liberty has won 10 straight conference home matches, and 11 regular-season meetings in a row against Coastal Carolina.

The host Lady Flames posted 10 team blocks, holding the Chanticleers to a .109 attack percentage, while Liberty hit .199 for the match.

Lillie Happel tied for the match lead with 13 kills and added 11 digs for her seventh double-double of the season and 14th of her career.

Melissa Racz registered 10 kills, earning a new career high while sending down a kill to clinch the match victory. Erica Manor posted career highs with three solo blocks and six total blocks.

Loren Thomas recorded four blocks, and passed former teammate Chelaine McCarty for eighth place all-time at Liberty with 285 career blocks.

Coastal Carolina's Lian Bernett tallied 13 kills and 14 digs, while Sam Skryd led all players with 38 assists in addition to 10 digs, both good for double-doubles.

Liberty stormed out to a 10-3 lead during set one, benefitting from six Coastal Carolina errors. The Lady Flames built their advantage to eight at 17-9 on a kill by Jade Craycraft. The Chanticleers battled back with a 10-1 run to claim the lead at 19-18. Coastal Carolina put up a big block during the rally, stuffing four attacks for points during the 8-0 surge to 19-18.

The Lady Flames earned two set point chances after kills from Courtney Boggs and Happel gave them a 24-22 lead. Coastal Carolina scored the next three points to take a 25-24 edge. After Liberty regained the lead, 26-25, Taylor Stafford and Bernett sent down kills. Four rally points ensued before Skryd ended set one, 30-28, in Coastal's favor, with a kill.

Happel and Bernett each tallied six kills during set one. Coastal Carolina hit .209 while sending down 17 kills, and posted five blocks, all during its 10-1 run. Liberty attacked at an .065 clip, registering 14 kills.

Set two proved to be evenly contested throughout, as the teams battled back and forth to the tune of 10 ties and six lead changes. Liberty and Coastal played to a 15-15 tie before the Lady Flames took a 17-15 lead. The guests quickly answered, tying the match at 17-all on a Stafford kill. Liberty surged into the lead at 22-19 with a 3-0 run, getting kills from Happel and Ansley Gebben.

The Chanticleers drew to within one, 22-21, before Racz and Craycraft each tallied kills. Coastal scored the next two points, as Lightsey earned a kill and a block assist, but Liberty tied the match with a 25-23 set two win, as Happel registered the set-winning kill.

Liberty bounced back to hit .229, with 16 kills, during set two, led by five kills by Gebben. Kelly Haseman collected half of her 18 digs in set two. Lightsey registered five kills during the second set.

The white-clad hosts surged out to an 11-1 lead in the early going of the third set, with Manor posting two solo blocks during the Lady Flames' run. Coastal Carolina chipped away at the deficit, getting to within six, 12-6, after a 4-0 run that Kindra Bailey capped with a kill. Liberty pulled away, outscoring the visitors 13-7 over the remainder of the set. Manor sealed set two, 25-13, with a kill, as Liberty claimed a 2-1 match lead.

The Lady Flames recorded five team blocks during set three, as Coastal Carolina hit -.029 with just eight kills. Manor came through with two solo blocks and two block assists to help Liberty's blocking effort.

Liberty closed the match with a 25-18 set-four win, outhitting Coastal, .306 to .073, during the final set. The Chanticleers led, 10-8, after a Katie Martin kill. The Lady Flames took the lead for good with a 7-0 rally that gave the home team a 17-11 advantage, capped by a Thomas-Gebben block. Trailing 24-15, Coastal scored the next three points. Racz then ended the match with her career-best 10th kill.

For the match, Kelly Haseman led four Lady Flames in double-figures with 18 digs. Becca Haraf and Happel chipped in 11 digs apiece, while Gabrielle Shipe totaled 10 digs. Craycraft dished out 31 assists in addition to eight kills, while Gebben registered nine kills.

Coastal collected 77 digs as a team, led by Lindsay Gill, who had a match-high 23. Jamie DiMaggio earned 13 digs, while Bailey had nine kills and five blocks. Katie Martin entered double digits with 10 kills.

The Lady Flames next play host to Charleston Southern, Saturday at 2 p.m. Coastal Carolina travels to Radford to face the Highlanders at 4 p.m. Saturday.