This spring is what many in college athletics have referred to as Super Spring. Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic and most sports shut down during the fall and winter, the spring has become home to most college teams’ seasons in 2021. For Liberty, 19 of the school’s 20 Division I programs are in competition this spring, and, if you include football going through spring practice, all of the 20 programs are in action.
We will provide weekly updates on all of Liberty’s NCAA Division I teams in action this spring, with the exception of football, men’s basketball, and baseball, as we cover those teams regularly.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (19-8, 12-4)
The Lady Flames have finished their season, falling to No. 1 seed FGCU in the ASUN Championship Game, 84-62. Liberty defeated No. 7 Bellarmine, 88-59, and No. 3 North Florida, 65-52, to advance to the program’s 22nd conference tournament final in the past 25 years. FGCU ended up with an 11 seed in the Women’s NCAA Tournament, losing in the First Round.
After winning the ASUN Women’s Cross Country Championship, the Lady Flames advanced to the program’s first ever appearance at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. Liberty posted a 27th place finish while Adelyn Ackley (66th place) and Calli Doan (85th place) each notched top 100 individual finishes.
#6 FIELD HOCKEY (10-2, 8-2)
17th ranked Old Dominion scored twice in 64 seconds in the third quarter as they edged the Lady Flames, 2-1, on Friday. Daniella Rhodes scored here team best 14th goal of the season in the second quarter for Liberty. The Lady Flames would respond on Saturday to defeat the Monarchs, 4-2. At 10-2, Liberty has its best record through 12 games in program history. Big East play continues this weekend as Liberty hosts Temple for two games on Saturday and Sunday.
No. 15 Liberty closed its appearance at The Hayt with an even par 288 team score to finish in fourth place. Kieran Vincent, who is ranked No. 14 in the country individually, finished in 5th place. 9 of the 14 teams in the field are currently ranked inside the top 50 in the latest Golfstat national rankings. Tournament host and fellow ASUN foe North Florida, who is ranked No. 26 in the country, finished the event in second place. Liberty is back on the course in the 2021 Liberty Invitational April 12-13 at Poplar Grove in Amherst.
In their only game this week, Liberty established a new program record for goals in a game with 24, defeating Delaware State 24-2. 16 different players scored in the game for Liberty. Previously, Liberty had scored 23 goals in a game three different times. The Lady Flames are scheduled to host James Madison Wednesday, March 31st before a break in the schedule until April 10th.
WOMEN’S SOCCER (3-4-5, 2-3-3)
The Lady Flames lost at home to Kennesaw State, 1-0. The Owls entered the game in second place in the ASUN North Division with Liberty right behind them in third place. On Sunday, Liberty and Bellarmine found themselves in a shootout that resulted in a 2-2 draw. Liberty hosts Virginia Tech on April 1st in the regular season finale with the ASUN tournament beginning April 7th.
MEN’S SOCCER (6-2-2, 1-2-1)
In the regular season finale, Liberty and Lipscomb battled to a 0-0 tie on Sunday afternoon. The ASUN men’s soccer championship is scheduled to begin on April 10th.
SOFTBALL (21-10, 3-0)
The Lady Flames had their three game series at Lipscomb canceled due to COVID safety protocols and player availability for Lipscomb. No. 18 Tennessee posted a 6-0 win over Liberty on Tuesday in Knoxville as the Lady Flames saw its four-game winning streak come to a close. The Lady Flames return home this weekend to host Kennesaw State for a three game series beginning Friday afternoon at 2 pm. Liberty also has a game scheduled at Virginia on Tuesday.
SWIMMING & DIVING (3-0, 3-0)
Senior Payton Keiner placed 49th in the 200 backstroke at the 2021 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. Keiner also finished 54th in the 100 backstroke. Freshman Maddie Freece placed 9th in the three-meter diving on day two of the NCAA Division I Women’s Diving Zone A Championships and Junior Lauren Chennault finished 22nd.
WOMEN’S TENNIS (13-4, 3-0)
After falling at Marshall Saturday, the Lady Flames continued their strong play in the ASUN with a 6-1 win at Bellarmine. Now, Liberty returns home for conference matches against Lipscomb on Thursday and North Alabama on Saturday before hosting Radford on Monday for a non-conference contest.
#40 MEN’S TENNIS (13-5, 3-0)
Late last week, the Liberty men’s tennis team garnered its first national ranking in program history. The Flames were ranked as the No. 43 ranked team in the country in the Oracle/ITA Division I men’s team rankings which features the top 50 teams in the nation. This week, Liberty moved up to No. 40 while Nicaise Muamba entered the Men’s Singles Rankings as the 82nd ranked player in the country. The Flames defeated No. 49 UNC Wilmington at home on Friday, 5-2, and swept Bellarmine, 7-0, on Sunday. Liberty plays at No. 41 Duke on Wednesday, before hosting Lipscomb on Thursday and North Alabama on Saturday.
TRACK & FIELD
Diamantae Griffin stole the show on Friday at the 93rd Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. His 10.19 clocking int he men’s 100 dash prelims at the Mike A. Myers Stadium took down a program record that had stood for 27 years. Chelsea Igberaese set the all-time ASUN Conference record with a hammer mark of 193-8. On Saturday, Kyle Mitchell won Section A of the men’s shot put with a program-record 61-11.5 effort.
This week, Liberty travels to High Point, North Carolina to take place in the VertKlasse Meeting.
VOLLEYBALL (5-9, 5-7)
Liberty’s volleyball season came to an end on Saturday at the KSU Convocation Center as the Lady Flames fell to defending ASUN champion Kennesaw State, 3-0, in the ASUN Quarterfinals. Liberty has been eliminated by Kennesaw State from the ASUN tournament for the second year in a row.