In a battle for first place in the Big South, defending champion Coastal Carolina hit .397 on the way to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-12) sweep of Liberty, Saturday at the Vines Center.
Coastal Carolina (15-4) remains unbeaten in conference play at 7-0 with its eighth win in a row. The Lady Flames fall to 10-10, including 5-2 in Big South matches. Saturday's loss snapped an eight-match home winning streak for the Lady Flames, dating back to Nov. 15, 2014.
The Chanticleers outhit the Lady Flames, .397-214, scoring 58 kills to Liberty's 31. The visitors also led, 54-48 in digs, 5-4 in blocks and 3-1 in service aces.
Leah Hardeman scored a match-high 19 kills and added 13 digs for the Chanticleers. Eszter Nagy recorded 11 kills, while Natasa Savovic (13 digs) and Annayka Legros totaled nine kills each. Sara Boothe dished out a match-high 39 assists, while Carla Cahill collected a match-high 16 digs.
Caroline Douglas led the Lady Flames with eight kills. Anna Willey registered her ninth double-double of the season, and sixth in league play, with 28 assists and 13 digs. Margaret Latchford collected 10 digs, while Jade Vorster registered a match-high four blocks. Hannah Weidner sent down seven kills at a .429 pace.
With Liberty trailing, 19-15, in set one, Jade Vorster scored a kill, and a Coastal error made it 19-17. The Chanticleers then closed to the finish, with Nagy notching three late kills as Coastal won the first set, 25-19.
Both teams attacked for a high percentage in the opening session, as Coastal held a .375-.344 edge. Hardeman and Nagy sent down six kills each for the visitors, while Douglas and Jade Vorster scored four kills apiece for the Lady Flames.
Haley Jeffcoat tied set two, 14-14, with a kill. The Chanticleers scored the next three points. Liberty could get no closer than two points the rest of the way, as Coastal took the middle stanza, 25-19.
The guests outhit Liberty, .372-.237, during the second set, with Hardeman adding six kills.
Coastal Carolina raced to a 25-12, set-three victory, hitting .447 during the final frame, compared to .061 for the Lady Flames. Hardeman scored seven third-set kills as the Chanticleers completed the sweep.
Liberty travels to South Carolina for the first time this season, heading to the Palmetto State for a pair of Big South matches next weekend. The Lady Flames will play at Presbyterian, Friday at 7 p.m., before taking on Winthrop, Saturday at 4 p.m.