LYNCHBURG, Va. – Sophomore Amanda Sahm (Marion, Iowa) tallied a double-double with 10 digs and 12 assists as Gardner-Webb fell to Liberty by a 3-0 score Friday evening in Big South Conference action.
Liberty (7-9, 2-2 Big South) won the match by scores of 25-11, 25-20, and 25-16, holding Gardner-Webb (10-9, 1-4 Big South) to a hitting percentage of .058 and 29 kills, while attacking at a .301 percentage with 42 kills.
Sahm led Gardner-Webb in assists with 12 on the evening, while both Taylor Lillard (Victorville, Calif.) and Hannah Driscoll (Lake Mary, Fla.), who each tallied six smashes on the evening, led Gardner-Webb in kills. Driscoll also led everyone with three blocks. Emma Milstead (Knoxville, Tenn.) led Runnin' Bulldogs with 13 digs.
Gabrielle Vess paced the Flames with nine kills, with Margaret Latchford leading the team in digs with 13. Anna Willey had 30 assists, and Liberty's leading blockers were Sirena Vorster and Payton Carter with two each.
The Runnin' Bulldogs jumped out to an early 4-2 advantage in the initial set, capped by a kill by Keira Moore (Spartanburg, S.C.). Liberty responded with a 14-3 run to seize control of the set, eventually winning the opening set by a score of 25-11.
Gardner-Webb opened the second set with a 5-1 run, highlighted by kills by Molly Johnston (Lubbock, Texas) and Driscoll. The Flames answered with a 7-1 spurt to take an 8-6 lead. Play remained balanced throughout the duration of the set, as there were ten ties, yet Liberty closed the set on a 7-2 run to claim the second set, 25-20.
GWU once again held an early lead in set three, leading 4-3 following an attack error by Carter. Liberty responded with a 6-1 run to take 9-5 lead, capped by an ace by Carter. The Flames would push their lead as high as 10 at 22-12, but the Runnin' Bulldogs clawed back with a 4-0 spurt to pull within six points at 22-16 after a kill by Kaelyn Dyson (Holly Springs, N.C.). Liberty would score the next three points to take the set at 25-16 and the overall match win.
Gardner-Webb returns to the court on Saturday when the Runnin' Bulldogs head to Radford, Va. to face Radford at 4:00 pm. Live video of the match will be available on the Big South Network (www.bigsouthsports.com).