Liberty won an extended second set to tie Texas State at 1-1, before the host Bobcats claimed the final two sets and the match, 3-1 (25-13, 24-26, 25-21, 25-18), Friday at Strahan Arena.
Texas State (1-0) extended its home winning streak to eight matches with the win, while the Lady Flames fall to 0-1 on the season.
Notable Numbers • Texas State outhit Liberty, .235-.211, for the match. The Bobcats also led in aces (11-3) and digs (48-42), while the Lady Flames held an 8-4 advantage in blocks.
• Cheyenne Huskey scored a match-high 16 kills for the Bobcats, while Courtney Heiser notched a double-double with 13 kills and 10 digs. Emily Dewalt (30 assists, 10 digs) also registered a double-double.
• Liberty's Casey Goodwin countered with 15 kills, while Amelia Johnson sent down a career-high 14 kills for Liberty. Anna Gragg posted nine kills and four blocks, while Hannah Morris totaled a match-high 42 assists to go with four blocks. Macy Phillips collected a match-high 19 digs in her Liberty debut.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson "I was very proud of their effort and their fight this afternoon against a very good NCAA tournament team. It wasn't the result we wanted, but we did get better. I thought Anna Gragg played great, hitting .500. Amelia did some nice things for us offensively. We needed to serve smarter and continue to improve our passing. I'm excited to see us improve again tomorrow."
Match Summary SET 1 • The Bobcats used a strong serving game during a 25-13 set-one victory, serving up six aces during the opening set.
SET 2 • Trailing 20-18 in set two, Liberty went on a 5-1 rally to take a 23-21 lead. Texas State tied it at 23-23 and again at 24-24, but Liberty won a spirited rally for a 25-24 lead. Gragg then sealed the set with a kill.
• Liberty hit .536 during the second session, compared to .323 for the Bobcats. Goodwin scored five kills on six swings, while Huskey sent down five kills.
SET 3 • Back-to-back Gragg kills tied the score at 21-all in the third set. After a Bobcats timeout, the hosts scored the next four points, sealing the set, 25-21, with a Brooke Johnson ace. SET 4 • The Bobcats pulled away late in the fourth set, ending the match on a 6-1 run to win the set, 25-18.
• Texas State outhit Liberty .231-.097 during set four.
Quick Hits • Texas State was listed among "others receiving votes" in the AVCA Division I Preseason Coaches Poll.
• Liberty newcomers Rajini Fitzmaurice and Macy Phillips started in their debuts as Lady Flames. • Phillips and Huskey were both on Florida's team in 2017 when the Gators qualified for the national championship match.
• Gragg moved into ninth place in program history with 317 career blocks. She passed former teammate Sirena Vorster (2014-17) and Theresa Bream (1987-90) today.
• This was the first time in program history that Liberty volleyball has opened a season in Texas.
Up Next Liberty continues its participation at the Texas State Invitational, taking on UNI at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. The Panthers finished the 2018 season with an RPI of 22.