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Lady Flames Sweep Presbyterian College, 3-0
The Liberty volleyball team earned its fourth straight victory, sweeping Presbyterian College, 3-0, (25-17, 25-23, 25-21) Saturday at Templeton Arena.
Liberty (13-11, 8-1 Big South) maintains its place at the top of Big South standings, while Presbyterian College falls to 8-16, with a 3-6 conference record. The Lady Flames have posted their longest winning streak so far the season, at four matches.
Liberty earned the win, despite the Blue Hose recording 40 kills to 28 kills for the Lady Flames. Presbyterian College recorded 27 attack errors, hitting .106 for the match, while Liberty posted 10 team blocks and hit .157.
Loren Thomas led the Lady Flames with seven kills and added five blocks, giving her a career-high 112 blocks for the season. Freshman Gabrielle Shipe paced Liberty with 16 digs and a career-high three service aces.
Presley Mabrey and Andrea Barman both posted a match-high 10 kills for Presbyterian College.
The Lady Flames raced out to a 6-0 lead to start the match, with Shipe serving up three aces during the rally. Presbyterian College trimmed the deficit to four, 14-11, following a 3-0 rally that included two Blue Hose kills and an ace by Mabrey. Liberty responded by scoring the next four points, including kills by Jade Craycraft and Thomas.
The host Blue Hose then staged a 4-1 rally, narrowing the gap to four at 19-15. The Lady Flames closed out the opening set with a 6-2 surge to earn a 25-17 victory.
During set one, Liberty hit .147, compared to .143 for the Blue Hose. Shipe and Presbyterian College's Mary Trimpe had seven digs each, while Barman led all players with four kills.
Liberty opened set two with a 9-1 run, capped by a triple block by Craycraft, Lillie Happel and Melissa Racz. The Blue Hose responded with five straight points, drawing within three, 9-6. The visitors built a 15-10 lead, with Erica Manor sending down three kills during the rally.
Trailing 19-13, Presbyterian College went on a 7-2 skein, trimming the deficit to one at 21-20. Gebben earned a kill and posted a solo block to give Liberty a 23-21 edge. Brown fought off set point at 24-22 with a kill. The Lady Flames clinched set two, 25-23, with a Happel-Thomas-Craycraft block.
Liberty posted seven blocks during the second set, and Presbyterian College hit .111 as a result. Gebben, Mabrey and Barman each recorded four set-two kills, and Trimpe collected seven digs.
Liberty built a 19-12 lead with an 8-0 rally during set three, benefitting from several Blue Hose miscues. Brown posted a kill to stop the Lady Flames' scoring surge, sparking a 4-0 rally that brought the home team to within three, 19-16.
Seven rally points ensued, producing a 23-20 score. Brown then earned a kill, slicing the deficit to two at 23-21. Liberty scored the final two points of the match on a kill by Thomas and a Presbyterian College error, winning set three, 25-21.
Both teams hit below .100 during set three, with Liberty at .077 and Presbyterian at .070. Caroline Cann paced the Blue Hose with five kills in the third set, while Trimpe added eight digs and Shipe had seven for Liberty.
For the match, Craycraft led the Lady Flames with 20 assists and added five block assists. Gebben registered six kills, and Manor hit .364 in sending down five kills. Kelly Haseman recorded nine digs, and Happel had eight digs.
Presbyterian College totaled 56 digs to Liberty's 49. Trimpe paced all players with 22 digs. Mabrey added 12 digs to her 10 kills, good for a double-double. Ashtin Frank posted a match-high 35 assists.
The Lady Flames return home for their next three matches, starting Friday at 7 p.m., as the Radford Highlanders visit the Vines Center. Presbyterian College steps out of conference play Tuesday, as the Blue Hose compete at USC Upstate at 7 p.m.