Liberty rallied for a set-one win on Friday at Kennesaw State before the host Owls claimed the final three sets to win 3-1 (21-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-20) at KSU Convocation Center.
Kennesaw State (13-6, 6-1 ASUN) bounced back after sustaining its first ASUN loss on Sunday at FGCU. The Lady Flames fell to 12-8, rounding out the first half of their ASUN schedule with a 5-3 record.
Notable Numbers • For the match, KSU outhit Liberty .233-.156. The Owls led in digs (75-63) and aces (9-5), while the Lady Flames held a 14-12 advantage in blocks.
• Lauren Chastang scored a match-high 23 kills for KSU, adding four aces and 10 digs. Quin Sutphin sent down 13 kills, while Jasmine Brown (.571, seven blocks) and Dani Ballou posted 12 kills each. Lexi Broadwater dished out a match-high 52 assists, while Karlee Groover collected a match-best 32 digs.
• Amelia Johnson led Liberty with 14 kills, while Macy Phillips collected 23 digs and tied her career high with four service aces. Hannah Morris registered 34 assists, 12 digs and five blocks, while Anna Gragg posted a career-high-tying nine blocks. Rajini Fitzmaurice collected 13 digs.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson "It wasn't the outcome we wanted but I'm so proud of how we stuck together as a team even in the midst of adversity. We served and blocked really well tonight. They were able to get their middles going in transition more than we could and I thought that was the difference. I'm watching this team get better every day, and I'm excited about the second half of conference!"
Match Summary SET 1 • KSU led set one 20-19 before the Lady Flames outscored the Owls 6-1 down the stretch to win 25-21.
• Liberty posted eight blocks during the opening set, with Gragg contributing to five of those rejections as the Lady Flames held to Owls to a .026 hitting percentage.
SET 2 • The Owls scored the first eight points of set two and fended off a furious Liberty rally to claim set two 25-21.
• Set two saw KSU outhit Liberty .265-.180. Chastang scored nine second-set kills for the hosts.
SET 3 • Kennesaw State pulled away late to win set three 25-16 to take a 2-1 match lead.
• KSU hit .316 during the third set, compared to .083 for the Lady Flames. Ballou led all players with six kills in the third.
SET 4 • Liberty went ahead 16-11 in the fourth thanks to a seven-point run that included two aces from Phillips. The Lady Flames still led 19-17 before the Owls went on a set-clinching 8-1 run that featured two aces by Broadwater.
• During set four, KSU outhit Liberty .324-.125, as the Owls posted five blocks.
Quick Hits • Hannah Morris became the 10th player in program history to surpass 2,000 career assists, as she has dished out 2,009 assists in her career.
• Gragg's nine blocks are the most by a Lady Flame in a single match so far this season.
• Kennesaw State came into the match averaging 1.9 aces per set, good for 13th in the nation.
• KSU has won all four matches all-time against Liberty.
• Liberty is 10-2 this season in matches in which the Lady Flames win the first set.
• KSU's Convocation Center was the site of the first collegiate match for Liberty seniors Casey Goodwin, Anna Gragg and Hannah Morris when they opened the 2016 season against Pittsburgh on Aug. 26.
Up Next Liberty will embark on a three-match road trip next week, beginning with a match at NJIT on Friday at 3 p.m. in Newark, N.J.
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