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Lady Flames Earn 3-0 Win at Gardner-Webb
In a match that featured two teams who entered the day unbeaten in Big South play, Liberty swept Gardner-Webb, 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-18) on Friday at Paul Porter Arena.
Liberty claimed its fourth win in a row, improving its record to 12-4, 2-0 against Big South competition. The Lady Flames are the only remaining Big South team undefeated in conference matches in 2012. Gardner-Webb falls to 6-13 on the season, including a 1-1 mark in conference play.
The Lady Flames hit .376 during the match, good for their fifth .300+ hitting percentage match this season. The Runnin' Bulldogs hit .236 for the match. Liberty led in blocks, 4-1, and 32-26 in digs.
Caroline Douglas led the Lady Flames with 17 kills, hitting .571 while posting her sixth straight double-digit kill match. Jade Craycraft dished out 32 assists in addition to five kills and two blocks. Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high nine digs, while Lillie Happel led all players with three aces. Loren Thomas connected for seven kills on 12 attempts.
Emily Holte led the Runnin' Bulldogs with nine kills, while Amanda Murphy, Tyler Cockrell and Erin Anderson recorded seven kills apiece to pace Gardner-Webb. Heather Feldman tied for the match high with 32 assists.
The Lady Flames went on a 6-1 run during set one to take a 19-14 lead, as Douglas recorded four kills in Liberty's rally. Craycraft gave Liberty set-point attempts with a kill that made it 24-20. Gardner-Webb pulled to within 24-22 on a kill by Murphy, but Thomas sent down a kill to seal the first set, 25-22.
Liberty held a .184 -.147 advantage in attack percentage during the opening set. Douglas led all players with six first-set kills.
Liberty led set two from start to finish, registering a .476 attack percentage during a 25-14 victory which gave the visitors a 2-0 match lead. Thomas posted four kills on six attempts to lead the Lady Flames to a 20-9 edge, and Monica Johnson recorded the set-clinching kill. Three Runnin' Bulldogs contributed four kills apiece in the middle stanza.
The visitors got off to a fast start again in the third set, leading throughout on the way to a 25-18 win to earn the sweep. The Lady Flames attacked at a .577 clip in sending down 17 kills during set three, earning points on 84 percent of Gardner-Webb's serves. The Runnin' Bulldogs hit .296 during set three. Douglas recorded eight of her match-high 17 kills in the third set, while Happel and Gardner-Webb's Murphy had four kills apiece during the final session.
Liberty now heads to Asheville, N.C., where the Lady Flames will take on the UNC Asheville Bulldogs tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the Justice Center.