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Top-Seeded Lady Flames Post 3-0 Sweep of No. 8 Seed CSU
Top-seeded Liberty began its title defense with a 3-0 sweep (25-20, 25-13, 25-23) over No. 8 seed Charleston Southern, during the first round of the 2012 Big South Volleyball Championship, Thursday at Paul Porter Arena.
The Lady Flames (23-7), winners of eight straight matches overall, advance to tomorrow's semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Liberty will face the No. 4 seed, Presbyterian College, which beat No. 5 seed Winthrop, 3-2, in today's second quarterfinal. The Buccaneers end their season with a 13-21 record.
For the match, Liberty outhit Charleston Southern, .298 to .174. The Lady Flames recorded 46 kills to 37 for the Buccaneers, and also held the lead in blocks (8-5), aces (4-1) and digs (49-47).
Caroline Douglas scored a match-high 12 kills, good for her 10th double-digit kill match in a row. Loren Thomas recorded nine kills at a .429 pace and added three blocks, including two solo blocks. Jade Craycraft dished out 33 assists in addition to seven kills and six digs.
Kendle Rollins hit .462 with seven kills and also posted four blocks, making her the eighth Lady Flame all-time with 300 or more career blocks. Lillie Happel contributed six kills and 10 digs, while Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 16 digs.
Meredith Parrott led the Buccaneers with eight kills, while Kirsten Struksnes recorded 26 assists and Ashley Higgenbothem had a team-high 14 digs.
The Lady Flames built a nine-point lead, 17-8, during set one. Charleston Southern chipped away at the deficit, eventually pulling to within three, 21-18. Douglas stopped the Buccaneers' momentum with a pair of kills, and then the redshirt freshman teamed up with Rollins for the set-clinching block, making the final score 25-20.
Liberty hit .286 in the first set, led by four kills from Douglas. Six Lady Flames had at least two kills in the opening frame. Parrott had four kills for CSU, which hit .132.
The Lady Flames posted a big blocking performance in the second stanza, recording five blocks to hold the Buccaneers to a .034 hitting percentage during a 25-13 Liberty victory. Liberty broke the score open with a 16-3 run, building a 23-10 lead, and Thomas sealed the set with a kill.
Douglas sent down five kills during set two, as Liberty hit .467, while Rollins posted three blocks and Thomas added two rejections.
Charleston Southern held the advantage on the scoreboard for a majority of the third set. The Buccaneers led, 22-20, before Liberty battled back with a four-point rally. The Lady Flames gained match point, 24-22, on back-to-back Douglas kills. Rollins then clinched the match with a kill, as Liberty took set three, 25-23.
The Buccaneers hit .310 during the final stanza, with Kayla Klinger registering four of CSU's 17 kills. The Lady Flames hit .190, while Thomas scored four kills on five swings during the third session.