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Liberty Claims Dramatic 3-2 Win Over Campbell
The Liberty volleyball team fought off a match-point opportunity, extending its winning streak to six with a 3-2 triumph (24-26, 25-11, 25-19, 12-25, 16-14) over Campbell, Friday evening.
Friday's match was held in front of a standing-room only crowd of 579 fans at Liberty Christian Academy.
Lillie Happel earned two kills and a block assist during the final contest's three points, helping Liberty (15-11, 10-1 Big South) claim its 10th conference win of the season. The conference-leading Lady Flames have now posted double-digit Big South victories during each of the last five seasons. Campbell falls to 12-15, 5-6 in Big South play.
Liberty has won each of the last 13 five-set matches it has played against conference opponents, dating back to the 2008 season.
Happel completed her 10th double-double of the season, registering a team-high 13 kills to go with 10 digs. Jade Craycraft dished out 40 assists and added 11 digs, good for her sixth double-double in 2011.
Junior Loren Thomas registered seven blocks, on one solo rejection and six block assists. She moved past Ashley Webber (2005-08) and Nicole Nice (1989-92), and is now in fourth place all-time at Liberty with 325 career blocks. She also tied Webber's single-season rally-scoring program record with 128 blocks this season.
Campbell held a slight advantage in kills, 55-54, hitting .221 compared to .204 for Liberty. The Camels posted 11 blocks to Liberty's 9.5, and out-dug Liberty, 64-59.
Set one went back and forth throughout. Liberty took a 17-15 lead after a Melissa Racz kill, leading to a Campbell timeout. The Camels surged ahead with a 5-1 run, with Lindsey Coats sending down a kill and earning a block assist.
The Lady Flames rallied into a tie, 22-22, as Ansley Gebben capped the skein with a kill. Five rally points ensued, after which Coats earned a kill, giving the Camels a 26-24, set-one victory.
Campbell attacked at a .375 pace in scoring 16 kills during set one, while Liberty sent down 14 kills, hitting .250. Jordan Reaves posted four kills for Campbell, while four Liberty players earned three kills apiece.
Liberty stormed out to an 11-2 lead at the start of the second set. Campbell scored the next point to make it 11-3, but that was as close as the Camels would get during the session. The Lady Flames cruised to the finish, siding out at a 100 percent clip in winning set two, 25-11.
The hosts hit .458 during the second frame, while Campbell hit -.043. Thomas earned three kills and four blocks for the Lady Flames, while Reaves totaled four of the Camels' seven kills.
Set three proved to be tightly-contested, featuring 15 ties and eight lead changes. Campbell turned a 15-14 lead into a 17-15 lead, receiving two kills from Coats during the rally. The Lady Flames scored the next four points, as Manor earned a pair of kills in aiding Liberty to a 19-17 advantage.
Campbell knotted the set at 19, but Liberty scored the final six points of set three to take a 2-1 match lead.
Both teams hit below .100 during set three, with Liberty at .069 and Campbell at .062. Coats and Kelley recorded four kills each for the visitors, while Gabrielle Shipe served up two aces.
The Camels led from the outset of set four, building a quick 10-2 advantage. The Lady Flames fought back to within eight, 14-6, after a Racz kill and a Campbell miscue. However, the guests pulled away, earning a 25-12 victory to extend the match to five sets.
Campbell attacked at a .382 clip during set four, compared to .051 for Liberty.
An electric fifth set brought the crowd to its feet. The teams traded the lead six times, and the score was tied on 10 occasions.
Happel sent down six kills during the fifth set, starting with a back-row strike for point one. She earned two kills, sandwiched around a Craycraft ace, to give Liberty a 7-4 lead. Campbell scored the next two points, but an error sent Liberty ahead, 8-6, at the changeover.
Reaves capped a 3-0 rally with a kill to claim the advantage, 9-8, for the Camels. After Liberty edged into the lead, seven sideouts followed, setting the score at 13-13. A kill by Annie Kobeski provided Campbell with match point, 14-13. Happel tied the set with a kill, and then teamed with Racz on a block, before sealing the match with a kill.
Liberty hit .304 in the fifth set, while Campbell hit .263. Reaves scored three kills during the final set.
For the match, Racz and Thomas both recorded 10 kills for the Lady Flames. Friday's match marked the second contest in a row during which Racz and Thomas both reached double-figures in kills. Kelly Haseman led Liberty with 12 digs, and Gebben recorded 10 digs. Happel and Shipe served up two aces apiece.
For the Camels, Reaves posted a double-double, turning in a match-high 14 kills and 11 digs. Kobeski recorded seven block assists and eight kills. Heather Wilson led all players with 49 assists. Lindsey Coats had 12 kills, and Brooke Kelley added 11 kills.
Liberty will close out its home schedule on Saturday, facing High Point at 2 p.m. in the Vines Center. The Lady Flames will honor their four seniors (Haseman, Courtney Boggs, Courtney Cooper and Rebecca Warren) prior to Saturday's match.