Sep 30, 2008

Lady Flames beat CSU and Coastal, start 2-0 in BSC

by Brittany Watson

The Liberty volleyball team opened its 2008 conference season with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-22) sweep of Charleston Southern on Friday in Charleston, S.C.

Although the score was tied five times with the Buccaneers, Liberty never trailed in set one. Chelaine McCarty put an end to the set with a game-winning kill that led the Lady Flames to a 25-23 victory.

Set one proved to be a game of precision serving and defense for the Lady Flames. Liberty had a trio of aces along with five blocks and 19 digs.

The Lady Flames kept it going by never trailing the Buccaneers in set two. Charleston Southern kept it close, getting it to 18-16 at one point, but Liberty went on a surge that gave it a 25-17 win.

Junior setter Kallie Corbin had 13 assists in set two alone, while McCarty and sophomore Nicki Scripko each had five kills for Liberty.

The Buccaneers tried to redeem themselves in set three by jumping out to a 6-1 lead. However, the Lady Flames did not allow the Buccaneers to hold the lead for long, as they quickly reclaimed the lead on a nine-point surge. McCarty’s four kills and .667 attack percentage helped Liberty finish off the match with a 25-22 victory in set three.

Scripko had her fifth double-double of the season with 13 kills and 11 digs, while Corbin also posted a double-double for the match with 31 digs and 12 assists.

McCarty ended the match with 11 kills and a match-high of a .391 attack percentage. Junior Brittany Pacella followed McCarty with an attack percentage of .381 and eight kills. Sophomore libero Karyl Bacon added 13 digs to the sweep over Charleston Southern.
Coach Pinder was proud that the girls “just played their game.”

Even though Charleston Southern had great defense, the Lady Flames were just “more physical and able to take the match,” said the reigning Big South Coach of the Year.

Liberty remained undefeated in Big South Conference play and 11-4 overall with a 3-1 victory over rival Coastal Carolina (27-29, 25-16, 25-21, 25-20) on Saturday night in Conway, S.C.

Set one proved to be a battle, as the teams exchanged leads five times and he score tied a total of nine times. The Chanticleers fought hard against the Lady Flames six set points and pulled off a stunning 29-27 victory.

McCarty had a strong .444 attack percentage to go with her four kills. Redshirt senior Jessica Nelson contributed seven of Liberty’s 23 digs.

Set two started out close, but Liberty strung together a six-point surge, putting the score at 21-13. Nelson’s game-winning kill put an end to set two giving Liberty a 25-16 victory and tied the match up at one set apiece. Scripko and Nelson each had five kills.

The Chanticleers late rally in the third set was not enough to defeat the Lady Flames. Liberty fought off Charleston Southern with a 25-21 decision. Scripko had seven kills and an attack percentage of .400 as the Lady Flames pulled ahead 2-1.

Coastal tied up the score 11-11 in set four, hoping to send the match to a deciding fifth set, but it was Nelson who responded with a kill that put the Lady Flames ahead for good. Scripko’s final kill, her 22nd, not only gave the Lady Flames a win, but it also notched a new career high for the sophomore.

Scripko completed her third double-double in a row with her 16 digs and 22 kills. Nelson also had a double-double with 13 kills and 15 assists. Corbin added the third double-double to the team with a season-high of 48 assists, 12 digs and seven kills.

McCarty’s 11 kills and .360 attack percentage helped Liberty’s team attack percentage of .304. Bacon led the team with a season-high of 21 digs.

Coach Pinder said the girls played well, consistently and never got rattled.

“The girls put the pressure on and had a great win on the road to start the conference.” Coach Pinder said.

Senior Ashley Webber noted that the team is always able to come together under stress, which has not only helped them already but is certain to help them as they begin to face tough competition throughout the season.

“It’s great to start the conference play at 2-0… because of the preseason schedule we had, we are in a better position going into the regular season really strong,” said Webber.

Bacon said she is excited for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on Tuesday and to finally play at home.

“Playing against VCU is always good volleyball, so it should be an exciting first home game.” Bacon said.

After being on the road for the previous 15 games, Liberty will finally have their first home match Tuesday as they host VCU in the Vines Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m.


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