Liberty spikes Frederick; Lions end 3-match skid in 15-3, 15-13, 15-1 win


The Liberty volleyball team got just the medicine it needed last night -- a dose of Frederick.

The Lions, who lost three straight matches after starting out the season undefeated, took out a week of frustration on the visiting Comets in three straight games, 15-3, 15-13, 15-1.

"This [game] was great for us," said Stephanie Wilder, who had 11 kills and three aces for Liberty. "In the games we lost, we played well and still didn't win so our confidence had gotten low. After tonight our confidence should be back where it was."

Lions coach Dave Trumbo, whose team improved to 9-3, agreed. "When you lose three in a row it shakes you up, Trumbo said. "We were mentally ready tonight though and we didn't make any mistakes."

Liberty came into the game off losses to Central Maryland Conference champion Thomas Johnson and a loss to county rival South Carroll, which is in second place in the conference.

"We played TJ with no practices in between," Trumbo said. "We played them on a Friday and then Monday so we didn't get to prepare."

The Lions were without the services of Lauryn Smith, who is second on the team with 144 kills behind Wilder's 169, in their match against the Cavaliers. Smith has since returned after suffering from tendinitis in her shoulder.

"[The loss of Smith] affected us because we didn't have the power we usually had," Wilder said.

Liberty, now playing at full strength with some practice, came out with something to prove and took the first game in about 10 minutes, 15-3. The second game started out much the same with the Lions taking a 10-0 lead before the Comets woke up.

Shatema Franklin served 10 straight points to even up the score.

"We just relaxed," Wilder said. "We finally realized that we shouldn't have been playing around and we needed to play our best."

That's exactly what Wilder and the Lions did.

Wilder served three straight points that included two aces to give her team the lead once again. The Comets (3-9) answered with three of their own before Liberty's Jen Brophy served for the final two points and the game.

The Lions, with 12 service aces, went on to rout Frederick in the third game 15-1.

The Lions' recent troubles have not overshadowed the success that the team is having thus far.

"I was pleased we were 8-0, but at the beginning of the season I would have said we would be about 8-3 at this point and been satisfied," Trumbo said.

"We're all excited about the tournament," Wilder added. "We need to win our last two games and we know we can do well in the playoffs. We're just having a great time."

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