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    April 12, 2022 Stevenson, Md. RSS |

    Liberty University’s women’s beach volleyball team won three of four matches at NCAA Division III Stevenson (Md.) University, splitting with the host Mustangs before sweeping Loyola (Md.) University, winning nine of 10 individual matches.

    “We had a very competitive weekend,” Lady Flames Assistant Coach Jess Nelson said. “Despite extremely chilly weather, with snow flurries in the air on Sunday, I thought our girls did a superb job of maintaining their composure and competing in that environment.”

    Liberty lost Saturday’s opener against Stevenson, 4-1, with the Nos. 2 and 5 tandems dropping three-game matches and seniors Heather Forton and Lexi Kruse the only winners at No. 3, 21-19, 23-21.

    On Sunday, the Lady Flames won three of the four matches that went to three games — at No. 1, where junior Kaitlyn Holbrook and sophomore Lizzy Armstrong avenged a 21-18, 21-19 first-match setback to come from behind and prevail, 15-21, 21-17, 15-13; No. 3, with Forton and Kruse overcoming a slow start to win, 12-21, 21-9, 15-11; and No. 5, where Genessa Sirard and Olivia Litzau won the last two games, 20-22, 21-12, 15-13, to help clinch the match.

    “Highlights for us included the consistency Heather and Lexi delivered throughout the weekend, Kaitlyn and Lizzy’s win over Stevenson on Sunday, along with Genessa and Olivia flipping their loss from Saturday into a Sunday win versus Stevenson,” Nelson said. “All those pairs showed tremendous resolve throughout their matches and rallied around their teammates during our fifth weekend on the road (this season).”

    Cara Licklider and Jill Kater bounced back from losing the only three-game match against Loyola in Saturday’s 4-1 team triumph to dominate Sunday’s rematch, 21-16, 21-7.

    “Cara and Jill ended their weekend on a high note with the win against Loyola,” Nelson said. “Improved communication and execution were key for them.”

    At No. 2 doubles, Jenae Baker and Syd Metzker dominated Friday’s match against Loyola, 21-17, 21-4, before needing three games to win Sunday’s rematch, 22-20, 21-23, 15-11, and complete the 5-0 team victory.

    “Jenae and Syd have locked into a high level of play and I am really proud of the way they battled throughout the weekend,” Nelson said.

    She also complimented the exhibition play of No. 6 pair of Grace Kennelley and Taylor Arnold and the No. 7 duo of Audrey Antesberger and Claire Kostrzewa.

    “Grace and Taylor have been excellent partners for one another and work so hard during each match,” Nelson said. “(Giving) Audrey and Claire the opportunity to play against Stevenson was a huge bonus for the team as we rounded out our final weekend of travel.”

    The Lady Flames will complete the spring regular season by hosting Erskine College on April 23 at the East Campus Athletic Complex, next to Liberty’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse Fields.

    Sophomore Lizzy Armstrong hits beside junior No. 2 doubles partner Kaitlyn Holbrook.