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Rice Downs Liberty in Straight Sets

September 1, 2018  Houston, Texas  RSS
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Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 16 digs at Rice on Saturday.

Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 16 digs at Rice on Saturday.

The host Rice Owls recorded a 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-22) sweep of Liberty on Saturday at Tudor Fieldhouse.

With the win, Rice (4-1) improves to 2-0 at this weekend's Rice Adidas Invitational I, while the Lady Flames (2-4) finished 1-2 at the event. The Owls face Houston Baptist tonight, looking for a perfect 3-0 record at their home invitational.

For her efforts this weekend, Victoria Baptista was named to the Rice Adidas Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Notable Numbers
• Rice outhit Liberty, .232-.164, for the match, while also leading in digs (62-55) and aces (5-2). The Lady Flames held an 8-4 advantage in blocks.

• No player in the match reached double figures in kills. Rice's Grace Morgan and Tori Woogk registered nine kills apiece, while Lee Ann Cunningham tied for the match high with 16 digs.

• Amelia Johnson led Liberty with nine kills, and Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 16 digs. Victoria Baptista posted her sixth straight double-digit dig match, corralling 14 digs.

• Amaya Williams dished out a match-high 22 assists, her first time leading the Lady Flames in assist this season after leading the team 21 times as a freshman.

• Anna Gragg and Casey Goodwin tied for the match lead with four blocks apiece.

Match Summary
• Rice held an 18-12 lead in set one, before Liberty drew to within 18-15 with a 3-0 spurt, capped by a Kainah Williams-Casey Goodwin combo block. The Owls then pulled away to win, 25-18.

 • The hosts outhit the Lady Flames, .275-.162, in the opening set.

• Liberty got off to a 10-4 start during the second session, posting three blocks and two service aces early on. However, Rice then went on a seven-point run to regain the lead and outscored the Lady Flames 21-10 down the stretch to earn the 25-20 victory.

• The visitors won the race to 20 points in the final set, leading, 20-19, after a kill by Goodwin. Rice quickly responded by scoring the next five points in the row. After a pair of Liberty points, the Owls clinched the set, 25-22.

Quick Hits
• Baptista is the first Liberty player to record double-digit digs in each of the first six matches of a season since 2010, when libero Kelly Haseman opened the year with seven straight 10+-digs matches. The last Liberty player who was not a libero to record six straight double-digit digs matches to start a season was Karyl Bacon in 2007.

• Rice, who participated in the 2017 Postseason NIVC, is the first of six opponents on Liberty's schedule this year who competed in the postseason last year.

• Liberty has two tournaments scheduled in Texas this season and will return to the Lone Star State in two weeks, competing in the SMU Doubletree Invitational.

Up Next
Liberty will next head to College Park, Md., to compete in the Maryland Invitational, Saturday and Sunday. While in Maryland, Liberty will face South Carolina, 2017 Postseason NIVC qualifier Colgate and the host Maryland Terrapins.