Sophomore Anna Willey recorded her third career double-double, with 24 assists and 11 digs to go along with five blocks.
Liberty opened its 2015 campaign with a resounding 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-17) victory over the visiting UNCG Spartans, Friday at the Vines Center.
The Lady Flames got off to a 1-0 start at this weekend's 2015 Liberty Invitational presented by La Quinta Inns & Suites, while the Spartans open at 0-1. Friday's result marked the second year in a row that Liberty swept its season opener.
For the match, Liberty outhit UNCG, .213 to .024, also leading, 55-48 in digs and 7-3 in blocks, while the Spartans held a slight, 3-2 edge in aces.
Liberty sophomore setter Anna Willey posted her third career double-double, with 24 assists and 11 digs to go with five blocks. Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 18 digs, the most digs by a Lady Flame freshman in a season opener since Anthonia Akpama (20) and Athena Sherwood (18) against Northeastern, Aug. 30, 1996. Senior Jade Vorster, redshirt senior Caroline Douglas and sophomore Sirena Vorster tied for the team lead with seven kills each, while Jade Vorster posted five blocks.
Sophomore Ashley Muench led all players with 12 kills for the Spartans, while junior Jessica Brezwyn and senior Katherine Santiago chipped in 10 digs apiece. Junior Sarah Hohman dished out 24 assists.
Liberty led set one from start to finish, jumping out to a 6-1 lead after a pair of blocks by Willey and Jade Vorster. The Lady Flames led by as many as nine, at 20-11, before earning the 25-18 victory.
The Lady Flames held UNCG to a .000 hitting percentage in set one, thanks in part to three block assists from Willey. Brezwyn and Muench recorded four kills apiece for UNCG.
The Spartans looked to even the score in the second frame, as a combo block by Katie Wagner and Jasmine Jones gave them a 7-3 lead. Liberty battled back, taking the lead for good, 13-12 on a block by Douglas and Jade Vorster during a 5-0 run. The Lady Flames pulled away, earning the 25-17 triumph and 2-0 match lead.
The host Lady Flames outhit UNCG, .290-.075 during set two, with Douglas and the Spartans' Muench scoring four kills each.
Liberty broke open a tight third set, extending its lead from 9-8 to 18-11 with a 9-3 burst during which UNCG committed five attack errors. The guests drew to within 20-15 after a Brezwyn kill, but got no closer as the Lady Flames wrapped up the 3-0 sweep, 25-17.
UNCG posted a .000 hitting percentage for the final stanza, while Liberty hit .235.
The Lady Flames next face Fairleigh Dickinson tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., during match four of the Liberty Invitational. The Knights also won their season opener on Friday, posting a 3-0 sweep of Hampton in the tournament lid-lifter.
Liberty and Hampton wrap up the weekend's tournament at 7 p.m., tomorrow in the Vines Center. Saturday's action begins at 10 a.m., when UNCG meets Hampton.