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Liberty Erases 2-0 Deficit in 3-2 Win Over Jacksonville
Trailing 2-0 after two sets, Liberty won the next three sets to down Jacksonville, 3-2 (23-25, 15-25, 25-17, 25-21, 15-8), during the opening match of the Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic.
With the win, its fourth in a row, Liberty moves to 4-1, and the Dolphins sport a 0-4 record. Friday's win over Jacksonville marked the first time the Lady Flames had overcome a 2-0 deficit in winning a match since a 3-2 win over Radford on Oct. 28, 2011 in the Vines Center.
Liberty connected for a .281 attack percentage, while Jacksonville hit .259. The Dolphins outblocked Liberty, 11-8, but the Lady Flames held a 62-45 edge in digs and 9-4 in aces.
Ansley Gebben sent down a career-high 17 kills to lead all players, and added 10 digs for her first career double-double. Loren Thomas totaled 14 kills at a .417 pace, while Caroline Douglas tallied 11 kills. Jade Craycraft recorded a season-high 49 assists and 13 digs. Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 18 digs. Kendle Rollins and Lillie Happel both registered eight kills apiece, while Rollins had four blocks and a career-high five aces. Happel also notched 11 digs.
Sammie Strausbaugh paced the Dolphins with 16 kills and added 11 digs, while Alison Loeppky totaled 11 kills and seven blocks. Kendall Courtney recorded a match-high 50 assists.
The Lady Flames hit .400 on the way to a 15-12 lead in set one, as Thomas and Caroline Douglas notched two kills apiece. Jacksonville rallied to take a 22-20 lead with a 6-1 run that included two kills by Courtney. Liberty scored back-to-back points to tie it at 23-all, before Emily Laskelle recorded two kills to take set one, 25-23.
Douglas and Thomas both registered four kills for the Lady Flames in the first set, as Liberty hit .242, compared with .275 for Jacksonville.
After Douglas sent down a kill for a 1-0 set-two lead, the Dolphins took over, tallying the next seven points in a row on the way to a 25-15 win to take a 2-0 match lead. From 5-1 on, Liberty got no closer than four points. Jacksonville attacked at a .400 clip in the second set, to .071 for Liberty, as the Dolphins recorded five blocks during the second session.
Liberty led the third set from start to finish, converting for a point on every Jacksonville serve but one. The Lady Flames posted consecutive blocks to seal the 25-17 victory to extend the match. Thomas and Gebben recorded four kills apiece during set three, while Rollins added three kills. Liberty sent down 16 kills at a .517 clip in the third set, while Jacksonville hit .238.
During set four, Liberty built a 17-11 lead that included three aces, two by Craycraft and one from Rollins, and three kills by Gebben. Jacksonville battled back to within two, 18-16, as Strausbaugh earned a kill and an ace during a 4-0 rally. The Lady Flames surged to the finish, forcing a fifth and deciding set, with a 25-21 win.
Gebben sent down six kills in set four for the Lady Flames, who hit .171, compared to .200 for the Dolphins.
After Jacksonville took a quick 3-0 lead at the outset of set five, Liberty staged a 7-1 run, getting a pair of blocks and a Gebben kill during the rally. Douglas notched a kill for an 8-5 Liberty lead at the changeover. The Lady Flames continued to carry the play, racing to a 14-8 lead, capped by a Rollins kill. Happel then sealed the comeback with a kill, 15-8.
The Lady Flames hit .600 during the decisive fifth set, while Jacksonville hit .125.
Liberty will continue play at the Holiday Inn Select/UCF Classic tonight, facing Columbia of the Ivy League at 6 p.m.