ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Playing in their final home match of the season at Justice Center on Friday evening the UNC Asheville volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision to Liberty University, falling 22-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 13-15 in Big South Conference play.
Seniors Cindi Miller and Hallie Morse were honored before the match as the two were playing their last match in the friendly confines of Justice Center. Miller and Morse did not disappoint the home faithful, as Miller tallied 18 kills and Morse posted 63 assists.
However, it would be sophomore Meredith Foster who would steal the show for the Bulldogs, tallying a career-high 24 kills. Holly Shelton also had a big night for the Blue & White, posting 17 kills. Asheville drops to 14-13 overall, 7-7 in the Big South with the loss.
"We played a fantastic match against Liberty tonight and our girls should be proud," said Asheville head coach Frederico Santos. "Despite the result this was a great confidence builder heading into the Big South Tournament. Playing Liberty to the brink, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, is just the boost we need heading into the final week."
Liberty (17-12, 12-2 BSC) clinched the No. 1 seed in the upcoming BSC Tournament with the win. The Flames will split the regular-season championship with the Winthrop Eagles, but clinch the top spot in the tournament via a tiebreaker with WU.
The Flames were led on offense by Lillie Happel who posted 21 kills on the night. Loren Thomas added 20 to the Flames' total while setter Jade Craycraft earned 53 assists directing the Liberty offense.
Overall the two teams combined for 31 tie scores and 16 lead changes in the match, with both teams going over 60 kills. Liberty tallied 11.5 team blocks with Thomas earning 9.0 (one solo) of her own. Asheville recorded 8.0 blocks as Chelsie Kenley tallied 5.0 (one solo).
The Bulldogs will be the No. 4 seed in the Big South Tournament and will open the event with No. 5 Campbell. The championship begins on Thursday, Nov. 17, in Charleston, S.C.