Liberty put together a strong team effort, sweeping North Alabama 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 26-24) on Friday at Liberty Arena.
With the win, Liberty (4-8, 4-7 ASUN) earned a spot in the 2021 ASUN Volleyball Championship, while also knocking North Alabama (1-12, 1-10) out of postseason contention. The Lady Flames have won two matches in a row, while UNA sustained its eighth straight setback. Liberty has won all three meetings via sweep over the Lions so far this eason.
Notable Numbers • Liberty hit a season-high .291 for the match, holding the Lions to a .148 attack percentage. The Lady Flames nearly doubled UNA's kill total (54-29), while also holding a 61-49 advantage in digs. Both teams served up five aces, while the Lions led 9-5 in blocks.
• Lydia Burts led Liberty with 13 kills, while Trinity Watts (12 kills, 12 digs) and Rajini Fitzmaurice (12 kills, 11 digs) both added double-doubles. Amaya Williams dished out a season-high 45 assists, while Lilly Kruse collected a career-high 18 digs. Aspen Thompson scored seven kills and added a career-high 15 digs.
• UNA's Anna Katherine Griggs posted a team-high seven kills and a match-high five blocks, while Katie Gerig collected a Liberty Arena-record 21 digs.
Match Summary SET 1 • Liberty used a strong service game (three aces, no errors) and scored 18 kills at a .300 pace during a 25-16 set-one win. The Lions responded with just nine kills at .152.
• Burts led all players with six kills in the first set.
SET 2 • Liberty used a 9-0 rally to turn an 8-7 deficit into a 16-8 advantage. Watts and Amaya Williams scored two kills each and Williams added a solo block during the rally. Lynchburg native Sarah Shanton's first career kill ended the set at 25-18.
• The Lady Flames outhit the Lions .292-.158 during the middle session, with Watts scoring six kills to lead all players.
SET 3 • The Lions burst out to an 11-4 lead in the third set, but an 11-3 Liberty run put the Lady Flames ahead briefly at 15-14. UNA led 19-17 before Liberty scored the next four points. The visitors later tied the match at 24-24, but Liberty put it away on kills by Kainah Williams and Watts.
Quick Hits • Liberty is now 7-0 all-time against North Alabama in volleyball. • Liberty is now 5-8 in sets decided by exactly two points this season and 3-3 in extended sets. • Each of Liberty's four wins this season have been sweeps. • Today was the first time since Dec. 7, 2019 against La Salle that four Lady Flames reached double-figures in digs. • Thompson's 15 digs are the most by a Liberty right-side hitter since Casey Goodwin's 15 digs against Kennesaw State, Nov. 17, 2019. • Today was Liberty's first-ever volleyball win in Liberty Arena, which opened this season. • Kruse's 18 digs are the most by a Lady Flame this season. • Burts' 13 kills are the most by a Liberty freshman middle blocker since Anna Gragg's 26 kills at Presbyterian College, Nov. 3, 2016.
Up Next Liberty and North Alabama wrap up their respective regular-season schedules tomorrow, with first serve set for 4 p.m. at Liberty Arena. Prior to the match, Liberty will honor its seniors with a Senior Day ceremony.