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Lady Flames Outlast Wright State in 5-Set Match

September 20, 2014  Nashville, Tenn.  RSS
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Jade Vorster tied her season highs with 11 kills and nine blocks, Saturday against Wright State.

Jade Vorster tied her season highs with 11 kills and nine blocks, Saturday against Wright State.

Liberty bounced back after dropping set one to Wright State, rallying for a 3-2 victory (17-25, 25-19, 25-12, 25-27, 15-11) over the Raiders on Saturday at the Bruin Classic.

The Lady Flames' win gives them a 10-5 record on the season heading into their finale of this weekend's invitational. Wright State falls to 3-10 on the campaign.

Liberty is now 2-2 in five-set matches this season, and 5-4 when losing the first set.

For the match, Liberty outhit Wright State, .200 to .133. The Lady Flames collected a season-high 94 digs, compared to 78 for the Raiders, while Liberty led in blocks, 12-7. Liberty's 94 digs were the team's most since recording 94 digs on Nov. 12, 2011 at UNC Asheville.

Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas scored a match-high 17 kills for Liberty, to go with a career-high 18 digs for her third double-double in a row. Freshman Hannah Weidner recorded 15 kills and five blocks. Sisters Jade and Sirena Vorster both posted 11 kills, while Jade Vorster tied her career high with nine blocks. Junior Caila Stapleton registered 50 assists and nine digs. Senior Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 27 digs, while sophomore Kate Corson totaled a career-high 14 digs and junior Allie Reynolds had 12 digs.

Sophomore Haley Garr led four Raiders in double-figures with 13 kills, followed by freshman Megan Hopkins (10 kills), freshman Katie Klusman (11) and senior Ashley Langjahr (10). Freshman Maddie Lohmeier recorded a double-double with 41 assists and 12 digs, while classmate Jessie Thornton collected a team-high 25 digs.

Liberty seized the momentum early in the first set, building a 13-11 lead after Douglas' fourth kill. Hopkins sparked a 5-0 Raider rally with a pair of kills, making the scoring 16-13, Wright State. Douglas' kills on the Raiders' next two serves drew the Lady Flames to within 17-15. Wright State then outscored Liberty, 8-2 from that point on to win the set, 25-17.

Wright State outhit Liberty, .385 to .229, during the opening set. Douglas' six kills led all players, while the Raiders' Hopkins and Garr scored five kills apiece.

The Lady Flames' blocking made a difference during set two, as Liberty recorded four blocks while holding the Raiders to a .095 attack percentage. Trailing, 16-15, Liberty went on a 5-0 run to gain the lead at 20-16 after a Jade Vorster-Weidner block. Wright State scored twice to draw within two, 20-18, but got no closer as Liberty won the stanza, 25-19 to tie the match. Weidner and Wright State's Garr both scored four kills in the second session.

Liberty outscored the Raiders, 18-5, over the span of the final 23 serves of set three, taking a 2-1 match lead with a 25-12 victory. The Lady Flames hit .333, compared to .000 for Wright State. The Raiders also committed seven service errors during the third frame. Weidner sent down four kills for the Lady Flames, breaking into double figures for the ninth match in a row.

Wright State led the fourth set, 21-14, before the Lady Flames responded with an 8-2 run which was capped with a Jade Vorster-Douglas block. Aiello then sent down a kill for set point, 24-22. Back-to-back kills by Jade Vorster tied the score at 24-all. Following three rally points, the Raiders held serve to clinch the 27-25 win.

Liberty led in hitting percentage, .132 to .104, during the fourth frame. Douglas scored five set-four kills, while Klusman answered with four kills for Wright State.

Wright State jumped out to a 9-7 lead during set five. Douglas then posted two kills and assisted on a block with Vorster, as Liberty went on a 5-0 rally to take the lead, 12-9. The Lady Flames closed out the match with kills by Jade Vorster and Weidner, winning set five, 15-11.

Liberty hit .227 during the fifth set, and posted three blocks to help hold Wright State's hitting percentage to .043. Weidner scored on all four of her attack attempts in the final stanza.

The Lady Flames finish their time in Nashville with a match against the host Belmont Bruins tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern.