LYNCHBURG, VA.-Campbell took Big South Conference leader Liberty to five sets, but fell 16-14 in the deciding frame Friday night at LCA Gymnasium (24-26, 25-11, 25-19, 12-25, 16-14).
Liberty moves to 15-11 overall and 10-1 in Big South play, while Campbell fell to 12-15 on the season and 5-6 in conference matches. Friday marked the first five set defeat in six chances for the Camels all season.
Lillie Happel led Liberty with 13 kills and 10 digs, adding four blocks and two aces. Loren Thomas and Melissa Racz both posted 10 kills each, with Thomas recording seven blocks. Jade Craycroft registered 40 assists and 11 digs, while Kelly Haseman tallied a team-high 12 digs. Ansley Gebben and Erica Manor both added six kills.
Junior outside hitter Jordan Reaves led three Camels in double figures with 14 kills. The Holly Springs, N.C. native added 11 digs and three blocks on the night. Lindsey Coats and Brooke Kelley followed with 12 and 11 kills, respectively, with the pair combining for seven blocks.
Senior middle blocker Annie Kobeski poured in eight kills and seven blocks, with freshman outside hitter Lorin Thomas piling on four kills and three blocks. Sophomore setter Heather Wilson registered a career-high 49 assists with nine digs. Kelsey Campbell, a senior libero, added a match-high 18 digs.
The teams combined for 12 tie scores in the opening set, with Racz knotting the frame at 24 on one of her three first stanza scores. Reaves and Coats then notched back to back kills to win the set 26-24.
After the Flames hit .458 (13-2-24) to take the second set 25-11, Liberty punched in four aces to win the third 25-19 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth Kobeski fueled the Camels to a 25-12 win on four kills and three blocks, with CU hitting .382 (14-1-34) as a unit, leading wire to wire.
In the fifth stanza, Liberty and Campbell tied 10 times and exchanged leads on six occasions. Tied at 13 after a LU service error, Kobeski put the Camels ahead 14-13 with a kill. Happel then put down two of her six fifth set kills to propel the Flames to a 16-14 win.
The Camels will be in action again tomorrow at 4 p.m. at Radford.