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Season-Best Hitting Sends Liberty to 3-0 Sweep at Winthrop

October 20, 2017  Rock Hill, S.C.  RSS
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Casey Goodwin scored a season-high 16 kills at Winthrop, Friday.

Casey Goodwin scored a season-high 16 kills at Winthrop, Friday.

Liberty hit a season-best .333 on the evening, sweeping Winthrop, 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-10), to open the second half of Big South play, Friday at Winthrop Coliseum.

The Lady Flames (8-14, 5-4) have swept their last two opponents, and avenged a 3-2 setback at the hands of Winthrop, which happened last Friday at the Vines Center. Winthrop falls to 13-10, 4-5 in conference play.

Liberty's .333 hitting percentage was its highest in a Big South match since hitting .371 at Presbyterian, Oct. 23, 2015. Winthrop hit just .041, the lowest hitting percentage by a Liberty opponent this season. Liberty also led in digs, 54-37, blocks (10-3) and aces (1-0).

Casey Goodwin led all players with a season-high 16 kills for Liberty, hitting .375. Gabrielle Vess followed with eight kills, while Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 17 digs. Latchford passed Jessica Nelson (2004-05, 07-08) into 15th place in program history with 1,190 career digs. Jenna Culhan collected a career-high 13 digs, while Amaya Williams registered 34 assists, eight digs and three blocks.

Winthrop's Phoebe Wu scored 11 kills while also adding eight digs. Puaoolelagi Sao collected 16 digs, while Siani Yamaguchi dished out 25 assists.

Liberty led set one, 15-10, after 25 serves. Wu then scored back-to-back kills to bring Winthrop to within three, 15-12. Following a Liberty timeout, the Lady Flames went on an 8-1 run featuring four Goodwin kills and a Williams solo block. All told, Liberty outscored Winthrop, 10-4 down the stretch to take the opening set, 25-16.

The Lady Flames outhit the Eagles, .242-.042, in set one. Goodwin scored five kills, while Latchford collected 11 digs. Wu countered with seven kills for the hosts.

Set two saw Liberty build an 18-13 lead. However, the Eagles then staged a 7-2 rally to tie the score at 20-all. Lydia Smith put Liberty ahead, 21-20, with a kill. Vess' kill made it 23-21 Liberty before a winner by Ara Wilson drew Winthrop to within one. Then, Gragg sent down a kill and combined with Williams for the set-clinching block at 25-22.

Liberty hit .286 in set two, compared to .143 for Winthrop.

During set three, Liberty made quick work of the Eagles, hitting a blistering .520 while sending down 16 kills in a 25-10 victory. The third set saw Goodwin score 10 kills at a .692 clip.

The Lady Flames now head to Charleston, S.C., where they will take on Charleston Southern tomorrow at 3 p.m. at CSU Field House.