Sep 23, 2008

Lady Flames lose two, win one at Golden Dome Invitational

by Brittany Watson

The Lady Flames hit the road again this weekend, this time to the Golden Dome Invitational in South Bend, Ind. where they finished 1-2, falling to Notre Dame and Western Michigan before sweeping UC Irvine in their last match.

Despite junior middle blocker Chelaine McCarty’s 11 kills and hitting average of .400 Friday evening, the Fighting Irish came away with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-17) victory over the Lady Flames.

Notre Dame opened up the first set hitting .591 as a team and never trailed during the match. The first set came to an end with a 25-10 win for the Fighting Irish.

Notre Dame started off the second set quickly with a 9-4 lead. However, the Lady Flames fought back starting with a block and a kill by senior middle blocker Ashley Webber. McCarty’s spike pulled Liberty within one at 11-12, but Notre Dame soon pulled ahead, ending the set at 25-20. McCarty finished the second set with five kills and a hitting average of .500.

The Lady Flames started a rally late in the third set bringing the score to 17-20. Sophomore Karyl Bacon contributed three kills during the surge. Despite the Lady Flames valiant attempt, Notre Dame put an end to the match with five straight points.

Junior setter Kallie Corbin and freshman setter Courtney Boggs each had 10 assists for the evening.

The Lady Flames fought hard for a comeback during Saturday’s match against Western Michigan, but the Broncos held on for ta 3-1 victory (28-26, 25-15, 17-25, 25-16).

The first set was a nail biter. Liberty took the lead three times and tied up the score seven times. However, Western Michigan was able to pull off a 28-26 win. Sophomores Nicki Scripko and Bacon each had four kills.

Western Michigan took over set two finishing with a .424 attack percentage, the highest of the match.

The Lady Flames came out swinging in set three. During a 6-0 burst, junior Brittany Pacella had two blocks and put an end to the third set with a winning kill, giving Liberty a 25-17 victory. Pacella also contributed five digs to the Lady Flames’ third set win.

Liberty had 26 digs and four blocks in set three, limiting Western Michigan’s attack percentage to .043.

The Broncos held onto the lead in set four, finishing the match with a 25-17 win.

Scripko had a match-high 16 kills, along with eight digs and four blocks.

McCarty and redshirt senior Jessica Nelson each had 10 kills, and Nelson had a team-high of 20 digs. Bacon contributed 16 digs during the match. Corbin tallied 41 assists and 12 digs and hit .333.

The Lady Flames were able to take Sunday’s match against UC Irvine 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 28-26), which was Liberty’s first win over a Division-1 California volleyball team.

There were seven ties early in the first set, but with the Anteaters leading 10-9, the Lady Flames pushed ahead with nine straight points. Liberty maintained control with McCarty putting an end to the set with her sixth kill. The first set ended with a 25-17 victory for the Lady Flames.
Liberty continued its sweep of UC Irvine in set two. Not until the Lady Flames had a 21-14 lead did the Anteaters attempt a comeback. Liberty shut them down, finishing the set with a 25-23 win.


The lead changed six times during the third and final set. The Anteaters held the set point at 24-23.

Corbin’s consecutive kills gave Liberty match point at 25-24. However, UC Irvine responded with a kill and an ace of their own.
A kill by Scripko, a block by Pacella and an attack error by the Anteaters gave Liberty the third set victory of 28-26 and put an end to the match.

Corbin had a perfect 1.000 attack percentage during set three along with three kills, 12 assists and four digs.

McCarty finished the match with 12 kills, hit .370 with four blocks. Pacella led the team, hitting .444 for the match. Scripko had her fourth double-double of the season with 10 kills and 10 digs.

Bacon led the team with 14 digs and Corbin had a match-high of 36 assists and nine digs.

Outside Hitter Jessica Nelson said that “this weekend was a growing experience for the whole team…after this weekend, we learned how to stick together and play together in all circumstances.”

Coach Shane Pinder called the Lady Flames “road warriors” because of their hectic traveling schedule they have had so far this season. Coach Pinder worried that the girls would be suffering from fatigue this weekend, and believes that played a role in Friday’s game.

However, against Western Michigan and UC Irvine, the team “played great defensively and they got a confidence boost after their game against Western [Michigan],” Coach Pinder said.

Overall, going in with a 9-4 record, Coach Pinder feels that the girls are in a good position to compete well in the Big South this year.
The Lady Flames open up Big South play on Friday at 7 p.m. against Charleston Southern before hitting the road yet again on Saturday bound for a 2 p.m. match up with Coastal Carolina.


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