Liberty built a 2-0 match lead before Louisiana responded to win the next two sets. The Lady Flames took set five 15-12 to clinch the five-set (25-16, 25-19, 16-25, 24-26, 15-12) win, Friday at Florida's Exactech Arena at Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Liberty improved its record to 6-5, including 1-1 at the Gators Invitational. Louisiana fell to 4-8 on the season with its fifth straight loss.
Notable Numbers • Liberty outhit Louisiana .194-.170 for the match. The Lady Flames led in blocks (16.5-10), digs (71-65) and service aces (8-5). Liberty's 16.5 blocks were a season high.
• Casey Goodwin scored a season-high 21 kills at a .380 pace while adding nine digs. Amelia Johnson tied her career high with 19 kills in addition to three aces and 12 digs. Hannah Morris dished out a career-high 53 assists, added 12 digs and was one of three Lady Flames (also Anna Gragg and Kailey Macy) with seven blocks. Macy Phillips collected a match-high 20 digs.
• Hali Wisnoskie paced the Ragin' Cajuns with 14 kills, followed by Kelsey Bennett (13) and Tia Jade Smith (10). Avery Breaux totaled 33 assists and 16 digs.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson "It wasn't our best match but we will take the win. Casey and Amelia carried our team. Hannah did a nice job of finding our hot hitters and sticking with them. This match came down to who wanted it more, and I'm glad we did!"
Match Summary SET 1 • Liberty held a one-point lead at 14-13 before ending set one on an 11-3 run to earn the 25-16 victory. The Lady Flames hit .375 compared to .188 for Louisiana.
SET 2 • Louisiana drew to within one point, 20-19, but the Lady Flames scored the final five points of the set to gain a 2-0 match lead. Johnson served up two aces during the set-clinching run.
• Liberty registered two aces and held the Ragin' Cajuns to a .135 hitting percentage, while Johnson scored seven kills during the second set.
SET 3 • Louisiana extended the match by winning set three 25-16, outhitting the Lady Flames .200-.033.
SET 4 • The Lady Flames appeared to be on their way to winning the match in four sets, leading 20-18 after a block by Gragg and Rajini Fitzmaurice. Louisiana staged an 8-4 run to take the set 26-24 and force a fifth stanza. Liberty posted 8.5 team blocks during the fourth set.
SET 5 • Liberty burst out to an 8-4 lead in set five. The Ragin' Cajuns fought back to within one at 10-9. Goodwin responded with a kill each time Louisiana narrowed the gap. Goodwin's eighth kill of the set clinched the set 15-12 for the Lady Flames.
• Liberty outhit Louisiana .400-.258 during the final set.
Quick Hits • Today was Liberty's first five-set win since defeating Oakland 3-2 on Aug. 24, 2018, head coach Trevor Johnson's first win at the helm of Liberty.
• Goodwin is the only player in program history to record at least one 20-kill match in each of her four seasons at Liberty. She has posted five 20-kill contests for her career.
• Morris' 53 assists are the most by a Liberty setter since Amaya Williams' 59 assists against Presbyterian on Sept. 23, 2017.
• The last time two Liberty players scored 15 or more kills in the same match was Nov. 4, 2018 at Lipscomb, when Lilly Kruse scored a career-high 17 kills and Victoria Baptista added 15.
• While today was the first meeting in volleyball between Liberty and Louisiana, the Lady Flames are 1-2 against Sun Belt opponents this season. Liberty lost to Texas State and UT Arlington earlier this season.
Up Next Liberty will wrap up its nonconference schedule tomorrow, taking on Northern Arizona at 10:30 a.m. Northern Arizona qualified for the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship.
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