The host Kennesaw State Owls overcame a 23-17 set-one deficit, winning the opening set 29-27 on the way to a 3-0 (29-27, 25-17, 25-18) sweep of Liberty on Friday at KSU Convocation Center.
KSU improves to a perfect 9-0 on the season, with all of its matches coming in ASUN play. The Lady Flames fall to 2-6, including 2-5 in ASUN matches. Each of Liberty's last three contests have come against the conference-leading Owls, with a fourth matchup coming tomorrow.
Notable Numbers • The Owls outhit the Lady Flames .271-.080 for the match. KSU led 12-6 in blocks and 5-4 in aces, while Liberty held a slight 38-37 advantage in digs.
• Liberty entered the match ranked 13th in the nation with 2.79 blocks per set, while the Owls were ranked 12th nationally with 2.10 aces per set.
• KSU's Lauren Chastang and Dani Ballou tied for the match high with 12 kills apiece, with Ballou hitting .429. Jessie Cohen totaled a match-high 33 assists and five blocks, while Chelsey Abel contributed six kills and nine blocks. Karlee Groover collected 11 digs.
• Julia Mangum led Liberty with seven kills and four blocks, while Amaya Williams dished out 21 assists. Lilly Kruse tied for the match high with 11 digs, while Rajini Fitzmaurice served up a match-high two aces.
Match Summary SET 1 • Liberty led set one 23-17 after a Mangum kill. KSU then went on a 5-0 run before a Mangum-Burts block made it 24-22 Liberty. KSU pulled into a tie, and a service error gave the Lady Flames a set-point try at 25-24. The Owls responded with two points, before Liberty fought off set point at 26-25 and again at 27-26. However, an Emma Schurfranz kill and a Ballou ace sealed the 29-27 opening-set victory.
SET 2 • Liberty got off to a quick start again in set two, leading 6-2 following a Mangum kill that punctuated the Lady Flames' momentum. The Owls responded, outscoring the Lady Flames 23-11 from that point on to win the set 25-17.
• KSU hit .357 in the second set, led by six kills on seven swings by Ballou. Meanwhile, Liberty hit .069 as the Owls posted four blocks.
SET 3 • Kennesaw State led set three from 9-8 on, capturing the sweep with a 25-18 victory. Th hosts outhit Liberty .323-.091 during the final session.
Quick Hits • Kennesaw State is now 9-0 all-time against Liberty in volleyball. The Owls won in four sets in both meetings in Lynchburg, Feb. 19-20.
• Liberty is now 3-4 in sets decided by exactly two points this season and 1-2 in extended sets.
• The Lady Flames' last match before tonight was Feb. 20 against Kennesaw State. That 13-day span was the longest time off in between matches in a single season in Liberty's NCAA Division I history.
• Abby Phillips, who repeated as ASUN Indoor Track & Field Championships high jump runner-up last weekend in Lynchburg, scored three kills on four swings tonight.
• Amaya Williams surpassed the 1,500-career assist mark, as she has now dished up 1,515 career assists.
Up Next The Lady Flames and Owls finish out their regular-season series tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at KSU Convocation Center.