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Liberty Remains Unbeaten in ASUN Play With 3-1 Win at North Alabama

September 28, 2018  Florence, Ala.  RSS
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Payton Carter collected a career-high 12 digs at North Alabama on Friday.

Payton Carter collected a career-high 12 digs at North Alabama on Friday.

Liberty remained unbeaten in conference play, reeling off three straight set wins on the way to a 3-1 (23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-19) win over fellow ASUN newcomer North Alabama, Friday at Flowers Hall.

Liberty (6-10, 3-0) is in a four-way tie atop the ASUN standings with Florida Gulf Coast, Kennesaw State and Lipscomb. North Alabama falls to 2-10 and remains in search of its first ASUN win at 0-3.

Notable Numbers
• Liberty outhit North Alabama, .307-.057, also leading in blocks (10.5-6.5) and digs (47-40). UNA led in aces, 9-5.

• Amelia Johnson tied for the match high with 12 kills, while Kainah Williams scored nine kills and posted a season-high seven blocks. Hannah Morris dished out a match-high 36 assists and scored a career-high seven kills, while Payton Carter's career-high 12 digs led all players and Anna Gragg served up three aces.

• Madison Ruble led North Alabama with 12 kills, while Christina Ellwanger totaled 11 kills and four aces.

Match Summary
SET 1
• The first set featured several big swings in momentum. The Lions led 15-11 before Liberty went on an 11-2 run to take the lead at 22-17. Following a Williams-Goodwin block, UNA scored the next five points to tie it. After a Carter kill made it 23-22 Liberty, a kill by Ruble and an Ellwanger ace gave the hosts the 25-23 victory.

• North Alabama outhit Liberty .360-.333 in set one, with Ellwanger scoring five kills.

SET 2
• Liberty led set two from 2-1 on to the end, tying the match at 1-1 with a 25-19 victory. The Lady Flames hit .357 during set two, while UNA responded with a -.031 showing.

SET 3
• North Alabama led set three 12-9 before Liberty staged an 11-1 run, as Morris' kill made it 20-13. The Lady Flames maintained the lead to the end, winning 25-18.

• Liberty attacked at a .350 clip, with the Lions hitting -.148.

SET 4
• Set four featured 10 ties and seven lead changes. Liberty led 15-14 before outscoring the hosts 10-5 down the stretch, getting three late kills by Johnson to help secure the 25-19 victory and 3-1 match win. 

• Liberty outhit UNA, .222-.061, in set four, as Jenna Culhan led all players with five set-four kills.

Quick Hits
• Liberty and North Alabama are both in their first year in the ASUN Conference, with both joining the ASUN Conference on July 1, 2018.

• After not reaching double-figures in digs in any of her first 54 career matches, Carter has collected 10 or more digs in each of the last three matches.

• Liberty has hit .300 or better in each of the last three matches, tying the longest stretch of matches with .300 or better hitting percentage in the program's rally-scoring history. The last time Liberty hit .300+ in three straight matches was Sept. 5-6, 2008.

• Liberty is off to its best start to conference play since opening the 2015 Big South slate at 4-0.

Up Next
The Lady Flames will fly to Newark, N.J., tomorrow, where they will play at NJIT on Sunday at 1 p.m. to wrap up a stretch of seven straight matches away from home.