Liberty closed out the home non-conference portion of its 2017 schedule with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-21) setback at the hands of VCU, Tuesday at the Vines Center.
Lady Flames junior libero Margaret Latchford obtained a milestone on Tuesday night, becoming the 21st player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs. She is now tied with Lillie Happel (2010-13) for 20th in program history with 1,005 career digs.
VCU (10-2) extended its winning streak to seven matches in a row, while Liberty fell to 2-8 on the season.
For the match, VCU outhit Liberty, .185-.065, while also leading in aces, 5-0. The Lady Flames topped the Rams, 8-5 in blocks and 53-47 in digs.
Vicky Giommarini led all players with 11 kills for VCU, while Gina Tuzzolo scored 10 kills. Dajah Ard dished out a match-high 21 assists while also serving up three aces. Madalon Simpson collected a match-high 18 digs.
Anna Gragg and Casey Goodwin both had six kills for Liberty, while Gragg posted a season-high five blocks. Amaya Williams dished out 13 assists and collected 13 digs, good for her second career double-double. Victoria Baptista collected 11 digs, while Latchford contributed nine digs.
Liberty trailed set one by just one point, 10-9, after a kill by Anna Willey. Diamond Boxley then countered with a kill, sparking a 7-1 VCU rally to give the visitors a 17-11 cushion. The Lady Flames narrowed the gap to 20-16 when Baptista scored a kill. However, the Rams pulled away, winning, 25-17.
During set one, VCU outhit Liberty, .216-.029, led by four kills by Alica Kandler.
VCU built a 21-14 lead in the middle session following back-to-back aces from Ard. Gragg then posted a kill and two block assists during a four-point Liberty surge to draw within 21-18. Giommarini then sent down a kill and an ace, spurring the Rams to the finish, 25-20.
The Lady Flames hit .241 in set two, compared to .205 for VCU. Liberty posted four set-two blocks, while the Rams responded with four aces. Giommarini scored five kills.
The visitors led the final set by five, 20-15, following a block by Giommarini and Boxley. A Kandler kill gave the Rams set-point tries at 24-19. Liberty fought off a pair of set points, but ultimately fell, 25-21.
Set three saw VCU outhit Liberty, .140 to -.023, as both teams posted three blocks.
Liberty heads to the road for its final non-conference matches of the regular season, competing in the Courtyard by Marriott Tournament, hosted by UNCW on Friday and Saturday. While in Wilmington, N.C., the Lady Flames will face UNCW, Western Michigan and Morgan State.