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ODU Volleyball Beats Liberty, 3-2


NORFOLK, Va. – A 5-0 start to the fifth set, highlighted by a pair of Teresa Atilano service aces, helped Old Dominion volleyball earn a 3-2 win over Liberty on Tuesday night at the ODU Volleyball Center.
With the victory, ODU improves to 2-0 in the all-time series versus the Lady Flames.
"It was a tough match. It was definitely up and down, quite the yo-yo. There were long stretches that were good and then long stretches that were bad, but I'm glad we timed it well and we came out on top," said head coach Fred Chao.

ODU 3, Liberty 2
The Monarchs (8-6) strung together seven unanswered points for a 7-2 lead early in the first set, but the Lady Flames (7-5) were able to pull even at 8-8. Locked at 20-20 late, the visitors put together a 3-0 run to take control. After committing a couple of attack errors, Liberty took the set 25-22 with a kill and block.

ODU responded with a 25-19 decision in the second set. An Atilano ace capped off an 8-1 swing that gave the home team a 16-7 advantage. The sides traded points throughout the remainder of the set as ODU tied the match at a set apiece.

With the third set knotted at 8-8, Liberty took off with six straight points and never looked back. Bailey Burgess scored a kill and then served an ace to cut the deficit to 23-15, but Liberty claimed the set and retook the overall lead with a 25-15 tally.

The Monarchs found themselves behind 5-1 at the start of the fourth set, but caught up to the Lady Flames at 19-19. The visitors went back up 22-20, but an Alice Munari kill and a block by Munari and Burgess tied the set at 22-22. ODU then regained the lead with another block from Burgess and Myah Conway, and Liberty committed a pair of attack errors to send the match to a fifth set at 25-22.
After ODU's 5-0 start to the decisive set, the Lady Flames got on the scoreboard with a kill and a block. However, another kill from Conway, an ace by Elisa Maggi and two more Liberty attack errors gave the Monarchs some space at 9-2. With ODU ahead 13-5, the guests found some rhythm with a 4-0 run, but it proved to not be enough. Bryanna Jones and LeeAnne Lowery scored a pair of late kills to bring the match to a close at 15-10.
On the efforts of Jones and Lowery late in the match, Chao added, "They came in and did really good jobs. We've known that they're capable of doing things and LeeAnne's been in the rotation a bit. She needs experience and we're trying to get her experience, and when she does, she's going to get better and better. Same with Bryanna. She's just explosive, so learning how to channel that and make sure she uses that at the right time, that's where we are with her."
Conway and Munari led ODU's attack with 16 and 11 kills, respectfully. Atilano turned in a 43-assist, 10-dig double-double and added five blocks, four aces and two kills to her totals. Kate Kilpatrick also finished with double-digit digs with a team-high 12, Burgess recorded six blocks and Conway had five blocks.

Up Next
ODU is on the road to start conference play as Marshall hosts the Monarchs this Thursday and Friday. Both matches are scheduled for 6 p.m. starts and will be streamed on ESPN+.