2021 AUN Volleyball Championship Bracket Top Plays Liberty wrapped up a season sweep of North Alabama, downing the Lions in three sets on Saturday at Liberty Arena.
The Lady Flames honored their seniors, Jenna Culhan (graduated in December), Amelia Johnson, Amaya Williams and Kainah Williams.
Liberty (5-8, 5-7) ends the regular-season on a three-match winning streak. The Lady Flames have also clinched the third seed in the North Division for the 2021 ASUN Volleyball Championship, and will play at No. 2 North Division seed Kennesaw State, next Saturday at 6 p.m. North Alabama sees its season end at 1-13, 1-11 in ASUN play. Liberty won all four meetings by way of sweep over UNA this year.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson "Our team keeps getting better and better every day. I'm proud of our resilience in the face of many trials. They have had to deal with many types of adversity all year and they keep responding in a positive way. Their character is being revealed in a positive way, and this will make them better people! I thought we served and passed well this weekend and that was the difference for us. Amaya did a good job of finding the hot hitters and we were able to capitalize on their mistakes."
Notable Numbers • North Alabama outhit Liberty .198-.192 for the match, while also leading in blocks (12-8). The Lady Flames held a 9-5 advantage in aces and 42-34 in digs.
• Trinity Watts led all players with a career-high 16 kills (.333), adding three aces and 10 digs. Rajini Fitzmaurice totaled 11 kills, three aces and three blocks, while Lydia Burts scored 10 kills (.353) and added a match-high seven blocks. Amaya Williams dished out 37 assists, while Aspen Thompson collected 11 digs and Lilly Kruse corralled 10 digs.
• Kamryn Parsonage scored 10 kills for the Lions, while Anna Katherine Griggs totaled nine kills and six blocks. Maggie Sullivan tied for the team lead with six blocks while Freya Collier posted five blocks. Katie Gerig collected 12 digs.
Match Summary SET 1 • Liberty used a seven-point run to build a 17-8 lead in the first set on the way to a 25-17 victory.
• The Lady Flames outhit the Lions .267-.214 in the opening set, as Fitzmaurice led the way with five kills and two aces.
SET 2 • North Alabama built a 15-10 set-two lead. The Lady Flames then posted three blocks during an 8-0 surge, giving Liberty an 18-15 advantage. UNA rallied to tie it at 20-all, but the Lady Flames held on to win 25-22 when Fitzmaurice scored the set-clinching kill.
• Liberty posted five blocks during the second set, with Burts assisting on four of those rejections. Watts sent down seven set-two kills.
SET 3 • Liberty had match-point tries at 24-22 following a Fitzmaurice kill. The Lions roared back with a three-point run, gaining set point at 25-24. A UNA error kept the set going, and Saige Weaver followed with an ace and Watts ended the match by scoring her 16th kill.
• As she did in set two, Watts also scored seven kills in the third set.
Quick Hits • Liberty is now 8-0 all-time against North Alabama in volleyball.
• Liberty is now 6-8 in sets decided by exactly two points this season and 4-3 in extended sets.
• Each of Liberty's five wins this season have been sweeps.
• The last time Liberty posted three straight 3-0 sweeps was Sept. 24 through Sept 29, 2019, when the Lady Flames swept FGCU, Jacksonville and North Florida.
• Winners of their last three matches, the Lady Flames will carry their longest winning streak into the conference tournament since entering the 2013 Big South Volleyball Championship on a four-match winning streak.
• Watts' 16 kills are the most kills by a Liberty freshman since Lilly Kruse scored 17 kills at Lipscomb on Nov. 4, 2018.
• Thompson has reached double-figures in digs in each of the last three matches, after having no 10-dig matches in her first 38 career matches.
• Watts has scored 10 or more kills in each of Liberty's last five matches, and in nine conference matches this season.
• Burts recorded five or more blocks for the seventh time this season.
Up Next Liberty will open the 2021 ASUN Volleyball Championship next Saturday at defending conference champion Kennesaw State. Match time is still to be determined. The winners of next weekend's quarterfinal matchups will compete in semifinals on April 2 in Kennesaw, Ga., with the final taking place the following day.