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    March 4, 2022 Loveland, Ohio RSS |

    Liberty University’s women’s beach volleyball team opened its spring season by traveling to Grand Sands Volleyball’s indoor facility in Loveland, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, where it swept Lincoln Memorial University’s NCAA Division II program, 5-0, before being swept by NCAA Division I Morehead State (Ky.) University.

    “We’ve really been trying to find opponents to play and it was nice to start the season a little earlier,” Liberty Head Coach Kaleb VanDePerre said. “I don’t think we’ve ever played in February before, but the weather has been nice and it has helped us to get out in the sand.”

    The Lady Flames’ No. 1 tandem of sophomore Lizzy Armstrong and junior Kaitlyn Holbrook won their match against LMU, 21-19, 21-14, before falling to Morehead State 21-12, 21-15. Likewise, Liberty’s No. 2 pair of seniors Heather Forton and Lexi Kruse won their first match,  21-15, 12-21, 18-16, before dropping their second, 21-11, 21-18. At No. 3, Lady Flames sophomore Cara Lecklider teamed up with freshman Jill Kater to win 21-10, 21-11, before losing 21-14, 19-21, 15-13; the No. 4 duo of senior Jenae Baker and sophomore Sydnie Metzker swept their LMU opponent, 21-14, 21-4 before being swept by Morehead State, 21-12, 21-12; No. 5 juniors Taylor Arnold and Julia McGuirk dominated their opening match, 21-4, 21-9, before being edged 21-19, 21-13; and No. 6-seeded seniors Olivia Litzau and Genessa Sirard won by forfeit before losing to MSU21-6, 21-19.

    “It was good experience for us playing Moorhead,” VanDePerre said. “We saw UNC Wilmington last year, which is also Division I, and we have a bunch of Division I programs on the schedule this year, so it was good to see early what to expect as far as the size, physicality, and skill levels of DI players and to make sure we’re working on what we need to be in practices to prepare.”

    Next Friday, the Lady Flames will travel to Tusculum (Tenn.) University, another NCAA DII program.