LYNCHBURG, Va. – Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) led all players with 12 kills, but Liberty (3-7) rode momentum from a first-set comeback to a 27-25, 25-22, 25-21, victory over Virginia (4-6) on Tuesday night at the Vines Center.
Along with Billiard, Jelena Novakovic (Belgrade, Serbia) finished in double digits for the Cavaliers with 10 kills. Chino Anukwuem (East Hanover, N.J.) hit a match-best .571 with eight kills on 14 attacks, but Liberty capitalized on 23 Virginia errors to take the victory.
Five Flames went for five or more kills, led by outside hitter Jenna Culhan with 10.
SET 1: Liberty 27, Virginia 25
Virginia held a 17-10 advantage in kills and outhit the Flames, but 11 attack errors allowed Liberty to steal a 27-25 decision. The Cavaliers had a pair of set points at 24-23 and 25-24, but Liberty was able to stave off both.
The Flames capitalized on a Virginia error, following it with a service ace to claim the opening set.
SET 2: Liberty 25, Virginia 22
After a 10-6 start by Liberty, the Cavaliers answered with a 4-0 run to knot the frame. Billiard knocked down a pair of kills in the run as Virginia seized the momentum to build a 19-16 lead of its own.
Again, miscues made the difference as the Cavaliers failed to connect on a pair of sets, helping Liberty to a 9-3 run to close the frame. Despite a 16-12 Virginia advantage in kills, the Flames played clean with only a pair of errors to take the set.
SET 3: Liberty 25, Virginia 21
Liberty raced to a 5-1 start and never looked back, capping the sweep with a 25-21 set. The Flames hit .419 in the frame to Virginia’s .233 mark. A 3-0 Cavalier run pulled Virginia within 24-21, but it was too little, too late as Casey Goodwin ended the match with an emphatic kill out of the middle.
• Billiard has now led the Cavaliers in kills and racked up double-digit kills in all 10 matches.
• Anukwuem and Milla Ciprian (St. John’s, Fla.) led the Cavaliers with three blocks apiece.
• Virginia held a 45-38 advantage in kills.
Virginia is scheduled to travel to VCU for the VCU Invitational beginning Friday, Sept. 14, weather permitting.