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Sanders, Webber Star In Lady Flames' Sweep Of High Point
Webber, who had not played since Liberty's last match-up with High Point three weeks ago, showed no signs of rust, hitting .381 with 11 kills and a pair of blocks. Sanders led Liberty with 12 kills and added 13 digs and four blocks to help the Lady Flames improve to 10-16 on the season. Liberty remains in third place in the Big South with an 8-5 loop mark after completing a season sweep of the Panthers.
The visitors leave town with a 9-20 overall record. High Point, sitting in fifth place in the conference standings, is 6-7 in conference action.
The opening game turned out to be the most competitive of the three as the lead changed hands 11 times during the stanza. Kallie Corbin (Fr., S, Beaverton, Ore.) gave the Lady Flames an 18-14 lead after serving for three aces during a 5-0 burst by the home team. A Liberty attack error provided the visitors with a late lead at 27-26.
After a Liberty timeout, Webber (So., MB, Lakeside, Calif.) entered the match and made an immediate impact. She posted kills in two of her first three swings, helping the Lady Flames regain control of the game. It would take three game points, but Liberty finally ended game one on top by a 33-31 count with a kill by Sanders (R-So., OH, Bear, Del.).
Sanders hit .444 and led the Lady Flames with five kills in game one. Corbin totaled four aces during the game. Jamie Kaufman and Audie Gonzalez provided a powerful 1-2 punch for High Point, tallying seven and six kills, respectively.
Game two was tightly contested during its early stages and the score was tied six times, including at 10-10. Sanders and Webber then posted back-to-back kills and Sanders served up an ace, enabling Liberty to take a lead it would not relinquish. A kill by Autum Black (Sr., MB, Mingoville, Pa.) completed a 30-21 win for the Lady Flames.
Webber and Sanders had five kills apiece during game two and libero Lara Bartolomeo (Jr., S/DS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) notched 13 digs. Liberty limited the Panthers to a .077 attack percentage during the middle game.
A trio of Webber kills helped Liberty race out to an 11-3 advantage early in game three. The Lady Flames appeared to be headed for an easy victory after Kendall Nichols' (So., OH, Hoover, Ala.) kill gave the home team a 20-13 lead.
High Point then stormed back with a 17-6 run, taking the lead at 27-26 on a Lindsay Raus spike. Gonzalez had four kills for the Panthers during that surge. A block by Sanders and Webber and a kill by Corbin helped Liberty regain the lead. A High Point service error and an attack error then finished up a 30-28 decision and the match for the Lady Flames.
Liberty's middle blockers, Black and Webber, led the Lady Flames in game three. The pair combined to hit .643 with nine kills and had a hand in all five Liberty blocks.
Black ended up with 11 kills and a team-high six blocks. Bartolomeo led all players with 26 digs and now has 1,009 for her career. Corbin filled the stat sheet, ending up with seven kills, 37 assists, 18 digs, four aces and four blocks.
Nichols chipped in with nine kills and 16 digs. Mary Alice Pike (Jr., RS, Durham, N.C.) totaled a career-best nine assists and complemented that total with 10 digs.
Kaufman, who had 20 kills and 21 digs in the teams' first meeting this season, ended this match with 17 kills and eight digs to pace High Point. Gonzalez recorded a double-double, ending up with 16 kills and 13 digs. Lauren Hatch led the Panthers with 19 digs.
Liberty will complete its six-match homestand with a non-conference tilt Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the Vines Center. East Tennessee State (23-5), the Atlantic Sun Conference regular season champion, will travel to Lynchburg for Senior Night for the Lady Flames. Senior middle blockers Black and Rachel Denton (Burnet, Texas) will be honored prior to the match.
The Big South Championship first-round match at the Vines Center will take place on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.
High Point will return home to play a non-conference match against North Carolina A & T Tuesday at 7 p.m.