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Lady Flames Fall to Missouri in 3 Sets

August 27, 2016  Kennesaw, Ga.  RSS
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Casey Goodwin

Casey Goodwin

Liberty dropped a tight first set to Missouri, 27-25, before the Tigers pulled away for a 3-0 (27-25, 25-18, 25-17) victory on Saturday at KSU Convocation Center.

For her efforts this weekend, Liberty's Sirena Vorster was named to the All-Tournament Team.

With the victory, Missouri (3-0) earned the tournament title at this weekend's Kennesaw State Invitational. Liberty fell to 0-3 on the season after the first weekend of play. Missouri has won both meetings all-time between the two teams, also downing the Lady Flames in 2015.

For the match, Missouri outhit Liberty, .220-.132, despite Liberty holding a 12-7 advantage in blocks. Both teams collected 50 digs, while the Tigers led, 2-1, in aces.

Missouri's Carly Kan and Melanie Crown recorded 14 kills apiece, with Crow adding 10 digs. Ali Kreklow totaled 21 assists and 11 digs, while Alexa Ethridge collected a match-high 14 digs.

Casey Goodwin led Liberty with 11 kills, while Leah Clayton recorded nine kills and 10 digs. Sirena Vorster posted a career-high nine blocks (one solo, eight assisted). Vorster's nine blocks were the most by a Lady Flame since Oct. 20, 2014, when her older sister, Jade Vorster, also posted nine blocks against Campbell. Michelle Melendez led Liberty with 11 digs, while Margaret Latchford collected 10 digs and Hannah Morris dished out 19 assists.

The Tigers appeared to be in control of set one, leading 23-19 after a Kira Larson kill. Trailing, 24-21, Liberty fought off three set-point opportunities, gaining a clinching chance of its own after back-to-back blocks made it 25-24. Larson sent down a set-tying kill, leading a 3-0 spurt to finish Missouri's 27-25 victory.

Crow scored eight kills for the Tigers, while Liberty's Goodwin sent down five kills. Liberty outhit Missouri, .122-.120, posting seven blocks. Vorster (one solo, six assisted) factored in on all seven Flames' rejections.

Missouri burst out to a 12-5 lead in set two, and the Tigers boosted their match lead to 2-0 by taking a 25-18 decision. Mizzou hit .567 during the second session, led by seven kills from Kan. The Lady Flames converted at a .333 pace in the frame.

The Tigers led set three by just three points, 11-8, after a Clayton kill, before building an 11-point lead at 22-11. Missouri held off a late surge, finishing the sweep with a 25-17 victory. The final set saw Missouri hit .093, compared to .024 for Liberty. The Lady Flames recorded four blocks in set three.      

Liberty now returns home, where the Lady Flames will host the Liberty Invitational, Friday and Saturday at the Vines Center. Liberty's first home match will be Friday at 7 p.m., as the Lady Flames take on USC Upstate. Then, on Saturday, Liberty will face Hampton and ETSU.