Playing in the first match of the Cougar Challenge, Liberty fell to UT Arlington in straight sets (25-22, 25-9, 25-18) on Friday at Washington State's Bohler Gym. UT Arlington improved its record to 5-2 on the season while Liberty fell to 4-3 after seeing its four-match winning streak snapped. Today was the first meeting all-time between Liberty and UT Arlington in volleyball.
Notable Numbers • UT Arlington outhit Liberty .382-.140 for the match, while also leading in blocks (9-4.5), digs (31-28) and aces (4-1). Coming into today's match, Liberty was outhitting opponents .271-.149 on the season.
• UTA's Brooke Townsend hit .550 with 12 kills to lead all players. Madelyn St. Germain served up a match-high three aces, while Meredith Fisher posted a match-best five blocks.
• Amelia Johnson led Liberty in kills for the fifth straight match, sending down 11, while Casey Goodwin collected a match-high nine digs and Hannah Morris dished out a match-high 24 assists.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson "Tough loss. Give credit to UTA. They came out being the aggressor and we didn't respond like we normally do. Anna Gragg was doing everything she could to will our team to a victory. We just couldn't match her enthusiasm. One more opportunity to get better this evening."
Match Summary SET 1 • Gragg sent down a kill to make it 21-20 Liberty in the first. However, the Mavericks outscored the Lady Flames 5-1 to take set one, 25-22.
• UTA outhit Liberty .312-.229 in the opening set as Townsend led all players with six kills. Liberty's Johnson countered with five kills.
SET 2 • The Mavericks raced to a 25-9 set-two victory during which they hit .400 as a team.
SET 3 • During set three, Liberty pulled to within 14-12 after a kill by Johnson before UTA pulled away for the 25-18 victory to secure the sweep. The Mavericks hit .474 during the final set, compared to .267 for the Lady Flames.
Quick Hits • Pullman is the northernmost city that Liberty has ever played a volleyball match in, surpassing Minneapolis, Minn., for that distinction.
• The Lady Flames last played in the Pacific Time Zone on Sept. 18, 2010 when they played at Cal State Fullerton.
• Liberty's four-match winning streak was its longest since winning six in a row from Oct. 14-28, 2018.
• Gragg is now tied with Erin McKeown (2000-03) for sixth place in program history with 341 career blocks.
• Johnson has scored in double-figures in kills six times in the first seven matches after posting five 10-kill matches all of last season.
Up Next Liberty takes on Idaho State at 8 p.m. Eastern time tonight to continue play at the Cougar Challenge.
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