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Virginia Prevails in 5-Set Match With Liberty
Liberty took a 2-0 lead over Virginia before the Cavaliers bounced back, claiming the final three sets during a 3-2 win (18-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-8) over Liberty during Saturday's final match of the Marriott Cavalier Classic.
Virginia advances its record to 5-6 with the victory, while Liberty is now 8-4 following its third setback in a row.
The Cavaliers registered 70 kills at a .262 pace, while Liberty hit .213 and recorded 47 kills. Liberty posted 13 blocks to Virginia's seven and totaled 55 digs compared to 51 for the home team.
Ansley Gebben led the Lady Flames with 15 kills and Caroline Douglas contributed 14 kills and four blocks. Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 22 digs and Kendle Rollins had a career-high eight blocks. Jade Craycraft totaled 33 assists and Becca Haraf chipped in a personal-best four aces.
Loren Thomas recorded four blocks, giving her 403 for her career. Thomas is the third player in program history with 400 or more career blocks.
Tori Janowski scored a match-high 25 kills in addition to 30 assists for the Cavaliers. Kayla Sears contributed 18 kills and Natalie Bausback had 12 kills.
Liberty raced out to a 13-5 lead in the opening set, posting three blocks and receiving three kills from Thomas and two by Gebben during the surge. Three kills in a row by Douglas pushed the Lady Flames' advantage to 18-8. The visitors gained set point at 24-13, and the Cavaliers scored the next five points before Douglas ended the set with a kill.
The Lady Flames hit .429 in set one, led by four kills from Douglas. Liberty also had four blocks and three aces. Virginia attacked at a .222 efficiency during the first stanza.
The visitors staged a 5-0 rally to take the lead in set two, 14-11, with a Rollins ace capping the run. Virginia chipped away at the deficit, drawing even at 18-all. The Cavaliers led briefly at 21-19 before committing three errors in a row. Rollins and Monica Johnson combined on a block to set the score at 24-22, and Gebben scored a kill for the 25-23 victory and 2-0 match advantage.
Liberty held the Cavaliers to a .143 hitting percentage in the second set. Douglas added five kills to her total, while Janowski registered five set-two kills.
Virginia opened a 16-12 lead during the third set, as Sears registered three kills to fuel a 4-0 run. The Lady Flames staged a four-point rally of their own in reclaiming the lead at 18-17, taking advantage of two UVA errors. The Cavaliers ended set three on an 8-1 run to earn a 25-19 win and extend the match to a fourth session.
During set three, Virginia hit .273, compared to .040 for the Lady Flames. Janowski led all players with seven kills in the third set.
Four straight Cavalier attack errors erased a four-point UVA lead in the fourth frame, bringing the Lady Flames back into a 14-14 tie. Liberty turned a 19-17 deficit into a 22-20 advantage thanks to a 5-1 run that saw Rollins and Douglas team up on two blocks. Janowski tied the set at 23-23 with a kill, as the hosts closed to the finish, 25-23 to set up a decisive fifth set.
Both teams hit for high average in the fourth set, with Virginia at .324 and Liberty at .320.
Virginia built an 8-5 lead at the changeover in the final session as Janowski scored three early kills. The Cavaliers extended their advantage to five, 10-5, on a kill by Sears. Janowski recorded a kill for set-point tries at 14-7, and scored the match-winner.
During set five, Virginia hit .421 and Liberty hit .100. Janowski paced all players with five kills in the final session.
Liberty wraps up its nine-match away stretch on Tuesday, when the Lady Flames travel to Washington, D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas of the BIG EAST at 7 p.m.