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Liberty Downs Elon in Straight Sets
The Liberty Lady Flames posted their second sweep in as many matches, downing Elon, 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-16) on Saturday during their last match at the North Carolina Central Tournament.
Liberty now holds a 2-1 record after competing in three matches in Durham, while the Phoenix went 0-3 during the weekend invitational.
For the Lady Flames, redshirt freshman Caroline Douglas was named to the all-tournament team for her efforts on the weekend.
Both teams hit for a high percentage on Saturday, with the Lady Flames posting 36 kills at a .320 pace and Elon hitting .276 in sending down 37 kills. The Phoenix hit exactly .276 in each of the three sets. Liberty served up nine aces and totaled six team blocks on the afternoon.
Douglas recorded a match-high 16 kills, hitting .538 in the process. Ansley Gebben added eight kills at a .467 clip. Kendle Rollins led the Lady Flames with four blocks, while Craycraft posted a team-high 26 assists and Lillie Happel served up a match-high three aces.
Kris Harris paced Elon with 10 kills, while setter Anna Nicksic led all players with 28 assists.
The Lady Flames built their first extended lead of the first set, 14-8, with a 5-0 run as the Phoenix committed two hitting errors and Happel added an ace. Elon later went on a three-point rally to slice the deficit to four, 16-12. A Douglas kill stopped the Phoenix's surge and started a 6-3 run that gave the Lady Flames a 22-15 advantage. The Phoenix scored the next four points before Douglas made it 23-19 with a kill. After a Gebben kill gave Liberty set point, an Elon error ended set one, a 25-20 Liberty win.
Liberty connected for a .321 attack percentage in set one, with Gebben and Douglas both posting four kills and Elon's Harris recording four kills as well.
After a back-and-forth start to set two, Elon went on a 4-0 run to gain the lead at 14-11. Happel served up two quick points for the Lady Flames, sparking a 6-1 Liberty run to a 17-15 advantage. Douglas assisted on two blocks during the Lady Flames' rally. Elon tied the set at 17-17, and later drew to within one, 23-22, following a Liberty miscue. Douglas sent down a kill for a 24-22, set-point opportunity, and a Gebben kill clinched the middle set, 25-23.
During set two, the Lady Flames overcame an .040 hitting percentage by registering three blocks and two aces during the stanza.
Liberty jumped out to a 16-10 lead in the third set, with Douglas posting seven kills and Gebben adding three kills during the opening stages. An Elon error out of a timeout extended Liberty's lead to 17-10 to cap a four-point run. The Phoenix pulled to within six, 22-16, with an ace, but the Lady Flames earned the match sweep, with a Douglas-Rollins block and Lauren Bosche ace serving as the final two points.
Liberty hit .636 during set three, led by a 9-for-9 showing from Douglas and three kills from Gebben.
The Lady Flames return to Lynchburg, and will open their home schedule against Commonwealth opponent William & Mary on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the Vines Center.