Anna Gragg scored a career-high 26 kills while hitting .524 on Friday at Presbyterian.
Liberty got a career-high 26 kills from Anna Gragg on Friday, but the host Presbyterian Blue Hose defeated the Lady Flames, 3-1 (27-25, 15-25, 25-18, 25-23) at the Templeton Arena.
Presbyterian improves to 7-21 on the season, including 3-10 in Big South play following the team's first win over Liberty since Nov. 8, 2008. Liberty (10-17) sees its Big South record go to even at 7-7 after its third straight setback.
For the match, PC outhit Liberty, .279-.254, while the hosts also led, 6-1, in aces. The Lady Flames held leads in kills (60-57), assists (55-52), digs (61-50) and blocks (7-4).
Four Blue Hose players reached double-figures in kills, led by Erin Eulitz, with 17 kills and 13 digs. Caroline Henderson and Ashton Stewart scored 13 kills each, while Allie Wright had 11 kills. Daley Gosnell collected 14 digs and served up three aces.
Gragg hit .524, and her 26 kills were the most by any Lady Flame in a four-set match under the current 25-point rally-scoring format. Gabrielle Vess (11 kills, 10 digs) and Amaya Williams (45 assists, 12 digs) both registered double-doubles. Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 19 digs, pushing her into 11th place in program history with 1,282 career digs. Sirena Vorster recorded eight kills at a .462 pace, while Jenna Culhan collected 10 digs.
Liberty got off to a fast start in set one, leading 13-8 after 21 serves. The Lady Flames led, 17-13, after a Culhan kill. PC battled back with a 5-1 run to tie it at 18-18. The guests later went on a 5-1 surge of their own to gain set-point tries at 24-20. Stewart scored two kills during a four-point PC rally as the Blue Hose tied it at 24-all. Victoria Baptista then scored a kill, before the Blue Hose scored the final three points of the set to win, 27-25.
Set one saw PC outhit Liberty, .386-.205. Henderson scored six kills, while Liberty's Gragg and Vess, along with PC's Eulitz and Stewart, sent down five kills each.
The Lady Flames used a 7-0 spurt to gain the lead, 12-5, in the second set. PC narrowed the gap to 12-9 with a four-point rally. However, Liberty outscored the Blue Hose, 13-6, from that point on to win, 25-15, and tie the match.
During set two, Liberty hit .300, compared to .061 for the Blue Hose. Gragg scored seven set-two kills while also adding two block assists.
Liberty trailed set three, 17-13, before Vorster, Baptista and Gragg all scored kills to draw to within 17-16. Eulitz then scored a kill, sparking PC's 8-2, set-ending run as the Blue Hose claimed a 25-18 victory.
PC outhit Liberty, .387-.189, during the third session, while Gosnell served up three aces. Gragg scored six kills for the Lady Flames.
The Blue Hose led set four, 20-16, before Gragg scored two kills during a 4-0 Liberty run to tie it at 20-all. After a PC sideout, Gragg sent down a kill and assisted Payton Carter on a block, giving Liberty the lead at 22-21. Eulitz then tied the score with a kill, before back-to-back aces by Allie Wright gave Presbyterian match-point tries. Gragg's kill then sliced the deficit to 24-23, before Eulitz sent down the match-ending kill, 25-23.
During the fourth set, Liberty hit .333, compared to .256 for the Blue Hose. Gragg hit .727 with eight kills in set four.
The Lady Flames wrap up their regular-season schedule next week, beginning with a 7 p.m. match at UNC Asheville, Thursday at the Justice Center. Liberty's regular-season finale will be next Saturday at 2 p.m., taking on Gardner-Webb at Paul Porter Arena in Boiling Springs, N.C.
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