Amelia Johnson scored 10 kills on Friday against South Carolina.
Liberty battled to extend Friday's match, before the South Carolina Gamecocks sealed the 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18) win over the Lady Flames at Tudor Fieldhouse.
South Carolina ran its season-opening unbeaten record to 4-0 by winning the first game of the Rice Adidas Invitational I, while Liberty fell to 1-3 on the season. Liberty and South Carolina will meet again next Saturday at the Maryland Invitational.
Notable Numbers • For the match, the Gamecocks outhit the Lady Flames .228-.217 while also leading in aces (11-4) and digs (50-45). Liberty posted 12 blocks, compared to five for South Carolina.
• South Carolina's Brittany McLean recorded a match-high 18 kills, while Courtney Koehler led all players with 41 assists. Aubrey Ezell served up a match-high four aces.
• Victoria Baptista recorded her second straight double-double with a career-high 13 kills and 12 digs in addition to four blocks. Amelia Johnson scored 10 kills, her second double-digit kill match of the season
• Margaret Latchford tied for the team high with 12 digs, while Kainah Williams posted a match-high five blocks and Hannah Morris dished out 23 assists.
Match Summary SET 1 • South Carolina used a six-point run to go ahead, 9-3, early on before pulling away for the 25-15 victory. The Gamecocks outhit the Lady Flames, .357-.138, during the opening session.
• McLean scored five kills in the first set, while Liberty's Amelia Johnson countered with four kills.
SET 2 • Trailing 18-14, Liberty went on a 5-1 rally to tie the set at 19-all. With the score tied at 20-20, the Gamecocks rattled off three straight points, gaining separation to win 25-22.
• Liberty hit .400 as a team during set two, compared to .273 for the Gamecocks.
SET 3 • Liberty built a 17-11 lead after a Jenna Culhan kill. The Gamecocks rallied, coming all the way back to tie it at 19-19 on a Koehler kill. Liberty broke a 22-all tie, scoring the last three points to extend the match.
SET 4 • South Carolina scored on the first four serves of the fourth set and clinched the match with a 25-18 victory during set four. The Gamecocks outhit the Lady Flames, .206-.118, in the final session.
Quick Hits • South Carolina is the first non-conference opponent that Liberty will face in two separate locations in a single regular season since playing a home-and-home series with Virginia Tech in 2001.
• Liberty has played in three four-set matches and one five-set contest so far this season. This is the first time since 1994 that each of Liberty's first four matches has lasted at least four sets.
Liberty will continue its participation at the Rice Adidas Invitational this afternoon, taking on Houston Baptist at 5 p.m. ET. The Lady Flames won the first meeting all-time against the Huskies, 3-1, on Sept. 5, 2015 in Flagstaff, Ariz.
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