Liberty Falls to Defending Champion KSU in ASUN Quarters
Liberty battled the defending ASUN champion Kennesaw State Owls on Saturday at KSU Convocation Center, with the Owls earning a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-14) sweep over the Lady Flames in the quarterfinal round of the 2021 ASUN Volleyball Championship.
Kennesaw State (11-2), the second seed in the ASUN North Division, advances to the ASUN Volleyball Championship semifinal, where the team will face No. 1 North Division Seed FGCU on Friday at 7 p.m. The Owls will host the semifinals and finals, next Friday and Saturday. The Lady Flames (5-9) have been eliminated by Kennesaw State from the ASUN tournament for the second year in a row.
Head Coach Trevor Johnson
"Our middles did a great job offensively and defensively. Amaya was doing some good things by trying to find our middles often. Kennesaw is a well-coached team, and they don't make a lot of errors. They were a little more aggressive from the service line than we were, and that was the main difference. I'm proud of our resilience and all that these girls have had to go through, from COVID to injuries. This will only make us stronger!!!"
• For the match, KSU outhit Liberty .329-.089. The Lady Flames led 12-8 in blocks, while the Owls led in kills (40-25), aces (7-5) and digs (40-28).
• Three Owls reached double figures in kills, led by Dani Ballou's 12 kills (.500). Lauren Chastang and Emma Schurfranz recorded 10 kills each, while Schurfranz posted five blocks. Jessie Cohen dished out a match-high 37 assists, while Karlee Groover collected 12 digs.
• Kainah Williams hit .500 with a team-high six kills while also registering six blocks (two solo, four assisted). Lydia Burts totaled six blocks, while Amaya Williams led the Lady Flames with 21 assists. Aspen Thompson tied her career high with two aces.
• Trailing KSU 18-15, Liberty received aces from Thompson and Kainah Williams during a 5-1 run to take a 20-19 lead. The Owls then got two kills each from Ballou and Claire Parsons, as Kennesaw State outscored the Lady Flames 6-1 from that point on to win 25-21.
• KSU outhit Liberty .448-.269 during the first set, with Ballou scoring seven kills at a .600 pace.
• Liberty's blocking game slowed down the Owls' attack in set two, as the Lady Flames posted six blocks and held KSU to a .160 hitting percentage. However, Liberty managed a .067 attack percentage.
• The Lady Flames led 17-16 after a block by Burts and Trinity Watts. However, the hosts outscored their guests 9-4 down the stretch to win the second set, 25-21.
• KSU completed the sweep with a 25-14 set-three victory, hitting .357 compared to Liberty's -.029.
• Kennesaw State went 5-0 against Liberty this season, and is 11-0 all-time in the series.
• Liberty averaged 2.74 blocks per set this season, which is higher than the team's average last year (2.61), when the Lady Flames set a program single-season record with 315.5 team blocks.
• Liberty is now 2-3 all-time in ASUN Volleyball Championship play.
• Prior to tonight, Liberty had won each of its last three matches overall, carrying its longest winning streak into the conference tournament since 2013.
• Liberty had qualified for the conference semifinal round four straight years before tonight's quarterfinal exit.
• The Lady Flames posted 10 or more blocks in 50 percent of their matches this season (7 out of 14).
• Burts recorded five or more blocks for the eighth time this season.