Lilly Kruse scored a career-high 17 kills at Lipscomb on Sunday.
Liberty and Lipscomb battled through four hard-fought sets, with the Bisons pulling out a 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19) victory on their Senior Day, Sunday at Allen Arena.
With the win, Lipscomb (16-10, 11-3) maintains possession of third place in the ASUN standings. The Lady Flames (13-15) are in fourth place at 9-5 in conference play with one week left in the regular season. The Bisons swept the regular-season series from Liberty.
Notable Numbers • For the match, Lipscomb outhit Liberty, .214-.169, while also leading in blocks (10-6), digs (58-54) and aces (8-1).
• Carlyle Nusbaum led all players with 18 kills to go along with 17 digs and five blocks, while Megan Kuper (11 kills, 10 digs, match-high four aces) also registered a double-double. Morgan Elmore dished out a match-high 42 assists.
• Liberty was led by Lilly Kruse's career-high 17 kills, while Victoria Baptista recorded her fifth career double-double with a career-best 15 kills and 11 digs. Margaret Latchford collected a season-high 24 digs, while Hannah Morris dished out 31 assists.
Match Summary SET 1 • Lipscomb used a 7-1 run to jump ahead 10-6 early in set one. The Bisons pulled away late for the 25-15 victory.
• During set one, Lipscomb outhit Liberty, .414-.125. Nusbaum scored five set-one kills, while Kruse answered with four kills for the Lady Flames.
SET 2 • The hosts appeared to be in control of set two, leading 20-16 after a Kuper kill. The Lady Flames battled back with a 7-2 run, as Morris' solo block made it 23-22 Liberty. After a Lipscomb sideout, Kruse scored the final two points with a kill and an ace, clinching the 25-23 win.
• Liberty hit .250 during the second session, getting an extraordinary eight kills from Baptista. Lipscomb countered with a .074 hitting percentage.
SET 3 • The Bisons built a 24-17 lead during the third set before the Lady Flames made a late rally. Liberty fought off four set-point tries, getting a pair of kills from Baptista during the surge. Logan Gish ended the set 25-21 with a kill.
• Set three saw Lipscomb outhit Liberty, .216-.143. Kruse sent down seven kills, compared to five for Nusbaum.
SET 4 • Liberty pulled to within one at 17-16 on a Baptista kill in the fourth set. The Bisons responded, outscoring the Lady Flames 8-3 down the stretch to win 25-19.
• Both teams struggled on the attack in set four, with Lipscomb holding a .158-.156 edge in hitting percentage. Lipscomb's Nusbaum and Liberty's Baptista had five kills each.
Quick Hits • Latchford passed Gabrielle Shipe (2011-14) into third place in program history with 1,715 career digs on Sunday. The senior has now recorded 22 career 20-dig matches.
• Kruse is the ninth Lady Flame to reach double figures in kills in a single match this season. This is the first time in program history that nine different players recorded at least one 10-kill match.
• Kruse's 17 kills are the most by a Liberty freshman since Leah Clayton scored 26 kills in the 2016 Big South semifinal against High Point.
• The last time two Lady Flames had 15 or more kills in the same match was Nov. 11, 2017 at Gardner-Webb, when Gabrielle Vess scored 17 kills and Casey Goodwin had 16 kills.
• First-year Liberty Head Coach Trevor Johnson needs one more win for 100 for his collegiate coaching career. He has totaled a 99-29 overall record as a head coach between Concordia (CA) and Liberty.
Up Next Liberty will finish off its regular season in Florida next weekend, playing at Stetson at 6 p.m. on Thursday before taking on FGCU on Saturday at 7 p.m. in its regular-season finale.
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