Liberty raced out to a 2-0 match lead on Sunday before North Alabama won the next two sets. The Lady Flames scored the match's final two points, winning set five 15-13 for a 3-2 (25-15, 25-18, 24-26, 22-25, 15-13) victory at the Vines Center.
With the win, Liberty (16-9, 9-4 ASUN) clinched its spot in the 2019 ASUN Volleyball Championship. The Lady Flames won both meetings with the Lions (3-23, 1-12) by 3-2 scores.
Notable Numbers • Liberty held a .268-228 advantage in hitting percentage for the match, also leading in digs (65-56) and aces (12-5). North Alabama led 13-7.5 in blocks.
• Liberty's Amelia Johnson led all players with a career-high-tying 29 kills, while Casey Goodwin (nine digs, six blocks), Anna Gragg and Rajini Fitzmaurice had 11 kills each, giving Liberty four player in double figures in kills for the second straight match. Hannah Morris totaled 55 assists and 13 digs, while Macy Phillips recorded three aces and 22 digs and Aspen Thompson posted six blocks. • UNA's Sarah-Elizabeth Williams recorded 14 kills while Anna Katherine Griggs added 11 kills. Maggie Sullivan registered a match-high eight blocks.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson "We are blessed to be heading back to the ASUN tournament! The girls have been putting in a lot of work before and during practice. We still have a lot of work to do to continue to be the best version of ourselves. The goal is still to get a little better every day. #WalkThroughTheDoor" Match Summary SET 1 • Liberty ran away with the first set, outhitting the Lions .483-.370 in the 25-15 win. The Lady Flames also served up four aces and got seven kills from Johnson.
SET 2 • The Lady Flames continued their dominance in set two, serving up four aces and hitting .379 during the 25-18 victory.
SET 3 • Set three saw 13 ties and two lead changes. North Alabama cashed in on its second set-point chance, winning 26-24 on Breylee Linder's kill. UNA outhit Liberty .306-.208 in the third, and held off an offense that was led by Johnson's 10 kills.
SET 4 • The Lions won a tight fourth set, 25-22, as a Williams/Griggs block sent the match into a decisive fifth session.
SET 5 • Set five went back and forth, with eight ties and three lead changes. Liberty led 13-10 before the Lions tied it with a three-point surge. Thompson then came through with a kill and a solo block for the last two points to seal the 15-13 win and match victory.
Quick Hits • Liberty is 4-1 in five-set matches this season, including 2-1 in ASUN contests that last five sets. • The Lady Flames are now 9-1 at home this season and have won 15 out of their last 16 home contests.
• Liberty's 16 wins this season are its most since finishing the 2016 season at 16-13.
• Johnson's 29 kills are tied for the most by a Lady Flame in the current 25-point rally-scoring system, as she also had 29 kills on Oct. 13 against Stetson. Caroline Douglas (2014 vs. Central Connecticut) was the only other Lady Flame since 2008 to score 29 kills in a single match.
• Goodwin passed Chelaine McCarty (2007-09) into 15th place in program history with 1,064 career kills. With 313 career blocks, Goodwin needs just one more block to enter Liberty's all-time top 10 in career blocks.
• Liberty's 12 aces today were its most in a single match since serving up 12 aces at Gardner-Webb on Oct. 22, 2016.
Up Next Liberty will play its next two matches in Florida, beginning Sunday at 1 p.m. at North Florida. The Lady Flames will then play at Stetson on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m.
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