Lady Flames, Playing 2nd 5-Set Match of the Day, Fall 3-2 to Pacific
Liberty rallied back from a 2-1 deficit to force a fifth set, but Pacific won the extended final session 18-16 to down the Lady Flames, 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 16-25, 18-16), Friday at UC San Diego’s LionTree Arena.
Pacific (4-4) went 1-1 today at the UC San Diego Invitational, being swept by New Mexico this afternoon before topping Liberty in five sets. The Lady Flames edged UC San Diego 3-2 earlier today and fell to Pacific in five sets. Liberty had won four straight matches prior to tonight’s 3-2 setback to Pacific.
• Liberty outhit Pacific .308-.262 for the match. The Tigers led in aces (13-8) and blocks (10-8), while Liberty held a 40-29 advantage in digs.
• Alexa Edwards led Pacific with 16 kills. Ramonni Cook and Darina Kumanova scored 11 kills each, while Kumanova served up a match-high seven aces. Jenna Heller and Miranda Baptista tied for team-high honors with 24 assists apiece.
• Liberty’s Trinity Watts hit an impressive .571 with a career-high 24 kills to go along with 11 digs, while Kamryn Bacus scored 10 kills. Delaney Dilfer dished out 51 assists, while Amelia Preston totaled seven kills and three blocks. Lydia Burts posted a match-high seven blocks.
• Similarly to this afternoon’s match against UC San Diego, Liberty won set one before dropping sets two and three. The Lady Flames pulled away late in set four to win 25-19 and force a decisive fifth set.
• Set five featured 14 ties and seven lead changes, as Pacific hit .409 compared to .400 for the Flames. Liberty gained its first match-point attempt when Preston’s kill made it 14-13. Pacific tied it up before going ahead 15-14, but Liberty then scored two points for a 16-15 advantage. However, that was the last point Liberty would score, as two kills by Edwards put the Tigers ahead and Cook’s kill sealed the 18-16 win.
• This was the first-ever meeting between Liberty and Pacific in volleyball.
• Today was the first time since Sept. 7, 2001 that the Lady Flames have played two five-set matches on the same day. That day, Liberty lost 3-2 to host Xavier before beating Fairfield by a 3-2 score later that day.
• Liberty junior Delaney Dilfer recorded her 2,000th career assist tonight. Between her time at Lipscomb and Liberty, she has totaled 2,014 career assists.
• Watts’ career-high 24 kills were the most by a Lady Flame since Amelia Preston scored a career-high 29 kills against North Alabama on Nov. 3, 2019.
• Watts’ .571 hitting percentage was the best by any Lady Flame with 24 kills or more since Caroline Douglas hit .600 with 29 kills against Central Connecticut, Sept. 12, 2014.
Liberty wraps up its time in La Jolla tomorrow, taking on New Mexico at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.