LIBERTY DEFEATED BY VCU, 23-25, 15-25, 20-15 | BOX SCORE
VCU held off Liberty during a tight first set, 25-23, on the way to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-20) win over the visiting Lady Flames on Wednesday at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
The Rams improve their season record to 15-3 with the win, their ninth straight home victory. The Lady Flames are now 12-6, and have concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule.
For the match, VCU held a .271-.119 advantage in hitting percentage and enjoyed a 43-30 edge in digs. The Lady Flames outblocked the Rams, 7-6.
Caroline Douglas sent down a match-high 12 kills for Liberty and added three blocks. Ansley Gebben added eight kills. Caila Stapleton led the Lady Flames with a career-high 22 assists, in addition to five kills and seven digs. Gabrielle Shipe collected 10 digs to pace Liberty and eclipse the 500-career dig mark, while Kendle Rollins had five blocks.
Kristin Boyd paced VCU with 11 kills, hitting .556, while Anett Farkas recorded 10 kills and 10 digs. Cecilia Aragao dished out a match-high 36 assists, and Amanda Love had 17 digs.
Set one remained tight throughout, with the score tied at 21-all following Gebben's sixth kill of the session. Romana Kriskova sent down a kill to give VCU set point at 24-22 before Douglas answered with a kill of her own. A kill by Farkas ended the opening set, 25-23, in VCU's favor.
Both teams hit .294 during set one, as Gebben led all players with six kills and Douglas had five. Martina Samadan and Farkas posted four kills apiece during the first stanza.
VCU took a 16-10 lead with a five-point run in set two which featured kills by Boyd and Waters. The Rams held an extended lead the rest of the way, winning the second set, 25-15. The hosts hit .345 with 14 kills in the second set, while Liberty scored eight kills at a .032 clip.
Back-to-back blocks by Douglas and Rollins gave Liberty a 12-11 advantage in the third set, and a VCU miscue then capped a 6-1 rally by the Lady Flames. VCU quickly rebounded, outscoring Liberty, 14-7, over the final 21 serves on the way to the 25-20 set three win and match sweep.
The Lady Flames registered four blocks during the final set, holding VCU to a .182 attack percentage while hitting .028 themselves. Farkas and Boyd recorded five set-three kills apiece for the Rams.
The Lady Flames return home for their next two matches, hosting Campbell on Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on High Point at 1 p.m. on Saturday.