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Liberty Wins 7th Straight, Sweeps Saint Francis (Pa.)
Liberty posted its seventh victory in a row, sweeping Saint Francis (Pa.) (25-20, 25-18, 25-16) in the first match of the Kent State Mizuno Classic.
The Lady Flames (7-1) defeated Saint Francis (3-5) for the second year in a row, as the two teams last met Sept. 9, 2011 in Lynchburg. Liberty is in the midst of its longest winning streak since a seven match winning streak during the 2011 season.
For the match, Liberty outhit Saint Francis, .270 to .098. The Lady Flames posted six blocks, compared to four for the Red Flash. Saint Francis held a slight 46-42 edge in digs, while both teams served up four aces.
Ansley Gebben led all players with nine kills and added 10 digs. Haley Jeffcoat and Kendle Rollins both tallied eight kills. Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 11 digs, while Caroline Douglas and Loren Thomas posted three blocks apiece. Jade Craycraft dished out 16 assists, followed by a career-high 13 assists from Lauren Bosché.
Hannah Kutny paced the Red Flash with eight kills, while Alanna Blenkarn registered a match-high 23 assists.
Saint Francis overcame an early 9-3 deficit to tie set one at 12-12, before the Lady Flames tallied three blocks during an 8-4 run to take a 20-16 advantage. The Red Flash pulled to within three at 20-17 on a Kutny kill. Jeffcoat connected for kills on three out of the Lady Flames' last four points, as Liberty took a 25-20 set-one victory.
Jeffcoat and Kutny tied for the set lead, with four kills apiece. The Lady Flames posted four blocks during the opening session including two each from Thomas and Gebben.
The Lady Flames turned a 7-7 tie into a 21-13 lead with a 14-6 run in the second set. Jeffcoat and Thomas both sent down a pair of kills during Liberty's surge. Saint Francis scored the next three points, with Lauren Wingard recording an ace and a kill to slice the deficit to 21-16. Liberty then raced to the finish, with Rollins tallying the set-clinching kill at 25-18.
Liberty connected for 16 kills at a .500 clip during set two, compared to 11 kills at .194 for the Red Flash. Gebben and Thomas both recorded four kills in the second set.
The Lady Flames controlled set three from the outset, building a double-digit lead at 16-6. After that point, Saint Francis would get no closer than eight points, which occurred at 20-12 and again at 24-16. Rollins sealed the victory, sending down a kill for a 25-16 set victory and 3-0 match sweep.
Gebben recorded four kills during the final frame, totaling one-third of Liberty's kills in set three. Liberty hit .163 in the third set, compared to -.061 for the Red Flash.
The Lady Flames face the host Kent State Golden Flashes later today, with first serve scheduled for 5 p.m. at the MAC Center.