LYNCHBURG, Va. -- The UNC Asheville volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to league-leading Liberty on Friday evening at the Vines Center, falling by set scores of 25-12, 25-14 and 25-23 in Big South Conference action, as the Lady Flames earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big South Conference tournament with the victory.
With the win, the Lady Flames improve to 21-7, including 11-2 in Big South play after avenging a Sept. 29 loss at UNC Asheville. Liberty has won or shared the conference regular-season title in each of the last six seasons, and will serve as the No. 1 seed in next week's Big South Volleyball Championship. The Bulldogs fall to 11-18, 7-6 in conference play.
Liberty is currently on a six-match winning streak overall. The team has also won a program-record 20 conference home matches in a row, along with 13 straight home matches and 23 straight home sets overall.
The 3-0 setback snaps a three-match win streak for the Bulldogs. Asheville also falls to sixth in the standings, with one match to go in the regular season.
For the match, Liberty hit .344, compared to .114 for UNC Asheville. The Lady Flames led 9-2 in blocks, 54-39 in digs, and 6-3 in service aces.
Caroline Douglas led all players with 19 kills, hitting .372 on the evening. Lillie Happel added eight kills, nine digs and two aces. Loren Thomas posted seven blocks, including three solo rejections. Thomas moved past Anthonia Akpama (1996-99) into second place all-time at Liberty, and seventh in Big South history, with 458 career blocks.
Holly Shelton paced the Bulldogs with 10 kills, while Katie Davis had 25 assists and Rachel Wells contributed 11 digs.
Jade Craycraft dished out 33 assists and added 13 digs, while Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 15 digs.
Liberty totaled five team blocks and three aces during set three, limiting UNC Asheville to a .182 hitting percentage. Shelton paced Asheville with six kills in the final session, while Douglas had five kills.
The Blue & White will close out the regular season tomorrow afternoon, when they travel to Radford, Va., to take on the Highlanders in Big South play. Radford defeated the Bulldogs earlier this season at Justice Center, pulling out a 3-0 victory in Asheville on Sept. 28. The match is set to begin at 4 p.m.