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Liberty Downs Fairleigh Dickinson, 3-1

August 29, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Sophomore Gabrielle Vess sent down a career-high 19 kills on Saturday against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Sophomore Gabrielle Vess sent down a career-high 19 kills on Saturday against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Liberty broke a 1-1 tie with a pair of resounding victories in the final two sets, downing Fairleigh Dickinson 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-14, 25-12) on Saturday at the Vines Center.

With the win, Liberty improves to 2-0 at this weekend's 2015 Liberty Invitational presented by La Quinta Inns & Suites, clinching at least a share of the tournament title. Fairleigh Dickinson falls to 1-1 on the season.

The Lady Flames owned the net, outhitting the Knights, .276-.084 for the match while posting nine blocks to FDU's two. Liberty also held a wide, 77-55 advantage in digs, also leading, 5-3 in aces.

Liberty sophomore Gabrielle Vess led all players with a match-high and career-high 19 kills to go with four blocks. Senior Jade Vorster scored 13 kills at a .407 pace, while sophomore Anna Willey dished out a career-high 46 assists in addition to collecting nine digs. Junior Michelle Melendez collected a match-high 22 digs, while freshman Margaret Latchford totaled 18 digs for the second match in a row and senior Allie Reynolds added 11 digs. Redshirt senior Caroline Douglas notched eight kills, while sophomore Sirena Vorster posted a match-high six blocks.

For FDU, freshman Rebecca Sabol led with 11 kills, followed by sophomore Alex Lolland's nine kills. Senior Allison Butler dished out 23 assists, while freshman Savanna Wray registered 12 digs and sophomore Carly O'Sullivan collected 11 digs.

Liberty quickly built a 10-4 lead to start the match, and held a sizeable advantage throughout its 25-18 victory. The Lady Flames hit .344 during set one, compared to just .114 for FDU. Vess and Sirena Vorster both scored five first-set kills, with Vorster adding three blocks.

Fairleigh Dickinson fought back from a 12-6, set-two deficit, outscoring Liberty, 14-7, over the next 21 serves to take the lead, 20-19. The Knights led, 22-20, following an ace from Taylor Wyckoff. A Jade Vorster kill later tied it at 23-all, before Layton gave FDU set point which the Knights converted for a 25-23 victory, tying the match, 1-1.

The Knights outhit Liberty, .231-.163 during set two.

Liberty stormed to a 25-14 victory in the third frame, hitting .400 compared to .030 for FDU. The Lady Flames took a 17-6 lead after Jade Vorster's sixth kill of the set and never looked back, taking a 2-1 match lead. Vess registered five kills for the Lady Flames during set three.

The host Lady Flames wrapped up their match victory by winning the fourth stanza, 25-12. Fairleigh Dickinson attacked at a -.021 pace, while Liberty hit .238 and posted three blocks. Liberty recorded 27 set-three digs, including 12 by Melendez. Douglas and Vess scored five kills each.

Liberty closes out play at the 2015 Liberty Invitational later this evening, taking on Hampton at 7 p.m. inside the Vines Center.