Kailey Macy registered career highs with 11 kills and seven blocks against Oakland.
Liberty built a 2-0 match lead before Oakland fought to force a fifth set on Friday. Junior Casey Goodwin served up the match-clinching ace in a 3-2 (25-16, 25-22, 18-25, 23-25, 18-16) Liberty win over Oakland, Friday at Gates Sports Center.
Liberty went 1-1 on the opening day of the 2018 season, splitting a pair of matches at the Fort Wayne Invitational presented by Hyatt Place. Oakland (0-1) will look for its first win of the season tomorrow. Liberty Head Coach Trevor Johnson earned his first victory as head coach at Liberty.
Notable Numbers • For the match, Liberty outhit Oakland, .238-.136. The Lady Flames also led in blocks, 15-5, while the Golden Grizzlies led in digs, 62-59. Both teams served up eight aces.
• Liberty's Kailey Macy registered career highs with 11 kills and a match-high seven blocks, while Anna Gragg (five blocks) and Amelia Johnson both scored 10 kills.
• Casey Goodwin served up a career-high six aces, to go with five blocks and seven kills, while Margaret Latchford and Victoria Baptista tied for the Liberty team high with 15 digs apiece. Hannah Morris led the Lady Flames with 25 assists.
• Oakland's Krysteena Davis scored 16 kills to lead all players, while teammate Jordan Lentz dished out a match-high 41 assists and Lindsay Wightman collected a match-best 18 digs.
Match Summary SET 1 • Liberty led the opening set from start to finish, starting out on an 8-1 run on the way to a 25-16 victory. The Lady Flames hit .320 in set one, compared to .000 for the Golden Grizzlies.
• Goodwin made an immediate impact in her first start of the season, serving up three aces during the opening session.
SET 2 • The Lady Flames stepped up their blocking game in the second set, posting seven blocks while holding the Golden Grizzlies to a .047 hitting percentage.
• Liberty's seventh block of the set, a Gragg/Morris combo, broke a 19-19 tie and spurred the Lady Flames to a 25-22 final score.
SET 3 • The Golden Grizzlies responded coming out of the locker room, outhitting Liberty, .286-.152 on the way to a 25-18 victory. Davis scored six kills for Oakland in set three.
SET 4 • The fourth set was closely contested, with 10 ties and three lead changes. The teams went back and forth, playing to a 23-23 score before kills by Abby Neidinger and Jamie Walling gave Oakland the 25-23 victory, forcing a fifth set.
SET 5 • Set five featured 10 ties and five lead changes. Liberty led, 8-6, at the court change, and still led, 14-12. Oakland battled back to take a 15-14 lead.
• Liberty fought off match point, and a Payton Carter kill made it 16-15, Lady Flames. After an Oakland sideout, Carter sent down another kill, and Goodwin's ace sealed the 18-16 win.
Quick Hits • Liberty's 15 blocks were the most by the team since registering 16 blocks at Presbyterian, Oct. 15, 2016.
• Friday's contest was Liberty's first match to go five sets since a 3-2 win at Gardner-Webb, Nov. 11, 2017.
• Oakland is the first of seven opponents on the Lady Flames' 2018 schedule which they will face for the first time in program history this year.
• Redshirt sophomore Amelia Johnson made her first start as a Lady Flame since transferring from North Dakota, while Auburn, Ind., native Lilly Kruse made her first collegiate appearance.
• Goodwin's six aces were the most by a Lady Flame since Sirena Vorster served up six aces at Gardner-Webb, Oct. 22, 2016.
Up Next The Lady Flames wrap up their time in Fort Wayne tomorrow at 11 a.m., facing the host Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons.