Updated Tournament Bracket No. 4 seed Liberty opened the 2018 ASUN Volleyball Championship with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-20) sweep over fifth-seeded Stetson, Thursday at Kennesaw State's Convocation Center.
With the win, conference newcomer Liberty (15-16) earns a spot in tomorrow's first semifinal at 5 p.m. against top-seeded FGCU (24-6). The Lady Flames will look to derail the Eagles' 13-match winning streak. The winner of that match will advance to the conference championship contest, which will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m. Stetson's season ends at 16-13.
Notable Numbers • Liberty outhit Stetson for the match, .240-.098. The Lady Flames also led in kills (47-30), aces (4-3), blocks (8-3) and digs (57-42).
• Casey Goodwin scored a match-high 15 kills for Liberty, adding five blocks. Victoria Baptista recorded her sixth double-double of the season, with 11 kills and 14 digs. Margaret Latchford collected a match-high 23 digs, her fourth 20-dig match of the year. Kainah Williams registered nine kills and a match-best seven blocks. Hannah Morris dished out 41 assists and Anna Gragg served up three aces.
• Stetson's Eva Deisa scored nine kills, while Chelcie Spence collected 12 digs and Julie Varga corralled 10 digs.
• Stetson won the race to 20 in set one, as Hao Jin's ace made it 20-18 in favor of the Hatters. The Lady Flames stormed back, as Goodwin's kill spurred a 7-0 run to the finish, securing a 25-20 opening-set victory for Liberty.
• During the first set, Liberty outhit Stetson, .293-.162. Stetson's Deisa led all players with six set-one kills.
• The Hatters held a late set-two lead at 18-16. However, Gragg scored two kills during a 7-1 Liberty run, helping push Liberty ahead, 23-19. Stetson scored twice to pull within 23-21, but the Lady Flames ended the set with a kill from Williams and a Morris ace.
• Liberty hit .270 during set two, compared to .062 for Stetson. Goodwin scored six kills for the Lady Flames.
• Liberty faced its biggest deficit of the match at 16-10 in set four. The Lady Flames rebounded once again, outscoring the Hatters 15-4 down the stretch to win the set 25-20 and secure the sweep.
• During set three, Liberty recorded four blocks, slowing the Hatters down to a .070 hitting percentage. Williams assisted on all four set-three blocks for the Lady Flames.
• Liberty has now qualified for the conference semifinal round three straight years, having made the Big South semifinal in 2016 and 2017. The Lady Flames will be looking for their first appearance in a conference final since making the Big South final every year from 2007-12.
• The Lady Flames defeated Stetson all three meetings this season. This is the first time since 2013 that Liberty has beaten one team three times in the same year, when the Lady Flames claimed three victories in as many matches from UNC Asheville. The last time the Lady Flames posted three 3-0 sweeps over one team in the same season was 2010, when they swept Gardner-Webb three times.
• Latchford has reached double figures in digs in all five conference tournament matches in which she has appeared.
• Goodwin has scored 10 or more kills in each of her last three conference tournament matches.