Liberty claimed a spirited five-set (25-18, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-8) victory at North Alabama to remain unbeaten in ASUN play on Friday at Flowers Hall.
The Lady Flames (11-5, 4-0 ASUN) pushed their winning streak to six matches overall, while the Lions fell to 3-13, 1-2 in ASUN play.
Notable Numbers • For the match, Liberty outhit UNA .236-.170. The Lady Flames led in blocks (13-11) and aces (6-5), while the Lions held a 79-74 advantage in digs.
• Amelia Johnson scored a career-high 21 kills and added 12 digs and a match-high three aces. Anna Gragg contributed 16 kills (.500) and five blocks. Casey Goodwin sent down 11 kills, while Macy Phillips collected 15 digs and Sydney Street collected a career-high 12 digs. Hannah Morris dished out a match-high 30 assists, while Rajini Fitzmaurice and Kailey Macy tied Gragg's five blocks.
• Anna Katherine Griggs recorded 13 kills and a match-high seven blocks for UNA, while Mackenzie Sullivan collected a match-high 34 digs and Mariana Trujillio contributed 28 assists and 12 digs. Sarah-Elizabeth Willims scored 11 kills.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson "Give UNA a lot of credit for being really scrappy on defense. I thought Hannah came in off the bench to give us energy and that was the difference. Amelia and Anna carried us tonight both offensively and defensively. We will learn from this quickly as we have a tough opponent tomorrow in Lipscomb."
Match Summary SET 1 • Liberty took control of the opening set, outhitting UNA .256-.133 in a 25-18 victory. The Lady Flames' 4.5 blocks kept the Lions' attack at bay.
SET 2 • UNA got off to a great start in set two, leading 6-1. The Lady Flames battled all the way back to tie it at 19-19, but the Lions' 6-2 run sealed set two for the hosts, 25-21.
SET 3 • Liberty bounced back for a 25-20 set-three victory to take a 2-1 match lead. The guests hit .302 during the third set, compared to .214 for UNA.
• Johnson scored eight set-three kills, while Griggs assisted on all four of the Lions' blocks.
SET 4 • The hosts won a tight fourth set 25-23 to extend the match to a deciding fifth set. With the score tied at 23-all, Breylee Linder served up two aces to clinch the win.
SET 5 • Liberty dominated set five, hitting .429 while rolling to a 15-8 victory.
• Goodwin sent down five fifth-set kills to help key the Lady Flames' attack.
Quick Hits • Liberty is now 3-0 all-time against North Alabama in volleyball.
• This is the second straight year that Liberty has opened ASUN play at 4-0. Last year, the Lady Flames won their first four ASUN matches.
• Liberty is 3-0 in five-set matches this season.
• Liberty's six-match overall winning streak is its longest since posting six straight wins from Oct. 14-28, 2018.
• Prior to a set-two loss tonight, Liberty had won the previous 11 sets in a row dating to Sept. 21 against Northern Arizona.
• Johnson is the first Liberty player since Leah Clayton (seven matches, Oct. 8-25, 2016) to record four straight matches with 15 or more kills in each match.
• Johnson, Gragg and Goodwin all have one 20-kill match this season. The last time three Lady Flames had at least one 20-kill match in the same season was 2003, when Erin McKeown, Becky Rudnick and Tatiana Tkachuk did so.
Up Next Liberty will travel to Alabama and Tennessee on the weekend for its first ASUN road trip of the season. The Lady Flames play at North Alabama on Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern time before taking on Lipscomb in Nashville at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.
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