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Indiana State Edges Liberty, 3-1, in Season Opener

August 24, 2018  Fort Wayne, Ind.  RSS
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Hannah Morris recorded her fourth career double-double, with 38 assists and a career-high 16 digs, Friday against Indiana State.

Hannah Morris recorded her fourth career double-double, with 38 assists and a career-high 16 digs, Friday against Indiana State.

Liberty and Indiana Sate traded momentum during both teams' season opener, with the Sycamores pulling away for a 3-1 (25-23, 20-25, 25-23, 25-19) win over the Lady Flames, Friday at the Gates Sports Center.

Indiana State (1-0) won the first match of the 2018 Fort Wayne Invitational, hosted by Purdue Fort Wayne. Liberty, playing its first match in the state of Indiana since 2008, falls to 0-1.

Notable Numbers
• Indiana State outhit Liberty, .170-.131, for the match, also holding a 78-67 advantage in digs. The Lady Flames led in both blocks (9.5-6.0) and aces (7-3).

• Indiana State's Damadj Johnson and Rhiannon Morozoff tied for match-high honors with 13 kills apiece, while Mikayla Knoblauch recorded a match-high 47 assists and 14 digs.

• Liberty's Hannah Morris recorded a double-double with 38 assists and a career-high 16 digs.

• Anna Gragg led Liberty with 11 kills, adding a career-high three service aces.

• Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 23 digs on the afternoon.

• Kailey Macy, making her first career start, tied for the match high with five blocks.

Match Summary
• Liberty led set one by as many as six points 13-7 and still held a 15-11 advantage after a kill by Jenna Culhan.

• The Sycamores then went on a 13-6 run, gaining set-point tries at 24-21. The Lady Flames battled to within 24-23 on a Culhan kill, but ISU took the set with a sideout.

• Liberty's serving game picked up the intensity in the second set, serving up five aces to keep Indiana State off balance.

• After trailing 17-16, Liberty outscored ISU 9-3 down the stretch to even the match at one set apiece 25-20.

• Liberty shook off an early slow start in set three, coming back from a 9-3 deficit and pulling to within a tie at 19-19 before ISU pushed it back out to a 24-21 lead. A block and a kill from Macy drew the Lady Flames to within 24-23 before the Sycamores scored the set-winner.

• Indiana State sealed the victory with a 25-19 win the set four. Liberty's Amelia Johnson scored five kills during the set, but Damadj Johnson countered with six kills for Indiana State.

Quick Hits
• Friday's match was the first for Liberty under first-year head coach Trevor Johnson. With a career record of 86-15 overall as a head coach, today was his first match as an NCAA Division I head coach.

• Liberty's Kailey Macy, Amelia Johnson, Madi Furtado and Sydney Street all made their debuts as Lady Flames in the match.

• With the setback, Liberty is now 9-23 in season openers during the NCAA Division I era.

• Liberty and Indiana State last met in volleyball on Sept. 28, 1991 in Huntington, W.Va., a 3-0 Sycamores victory. ISU is now 2-0 in the all-time series.

Up Next
Liberty continues its participation at the Fort Wayne Invitational presented by Hyatt Place, taking on Oakland at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon.  It will be the first meeting in volleyball between Liberty and Oakland.