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Lady Flames to Host Gardner-Webb, UNC Asheville on Weekend
The Liberty volleyball team returns to the Vines Center for the first time since Sept. 3, hosting Gardner-Webb (7-10, 0-1 Big South) on Friday at 7 p.m. before taking on UNC Asheville (10-6, 1-0 Big South) at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The Lady Flames (1-13, 0-1 Big South) went winless during their 10-match road swing, and have played 13 out of their first 14 matches away from Lynchburg. Liberty will look to get back on the winning track on Friday at home. The Lady Flames have won 15 straight home matches, dating to Oct. 14, 2011, and 21 conference home matches in a row, dating to Oct. 2, 2010.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for both matches this weekend, through links on LibertyFlames.com. Each of this weekend's home matches will be available through free live video streaming via the Big South Network, with Ray Jones on play-by-play and Erin McKeown providing analysis.
The Last Time Out
The Lady Flames battled back and forth with William & Mary on Tuesday night, with the host Tribe winning, 3-1 (25-12, 21-25, 27-25, 25-21). Liberty had won each of the last three series meetings prior to Tuesday's setback at William & Mary.
Senior Jade Craycraft tallied 10 kills, 38 assists and 12 digs, posting her second career triple-double. Her first career triple-double came in the Big South Championship semifinal at Winthrop on Nov. 19, 2010. Craycraft's triple-double on Tuesday was the ninth by a Lady Flame since 2001. Kallie Corbin (2006-09) recorded six career triple-doubles, while Janell Migeot (2002-05) had one.
Liberty recorded a season-high 83 digs on Tuesday, the most digs by the Lady Flames since recording 94 on Nov. 12, 2011 at UNC Asheville. Five Lady Flames tallied double-digit digs. Sophomore Allie Reynolds collected a career-high 24 digs against William & Mary, the most by a Lady Flame since Gabrielle Shipe recorded 24 digs at High Point, Nov. 2, 2012. Seniors Lillie Happel and Becca Haraf added 15 digs each, while senior Jade Craycraft recorded 12 digs and Shipe had 11. In the process, Shipe increased her career digs total to 907.
Lillie Happel registered 17 kills and 15 digs, good for her 29th career double-double. With her 17 kills at William & Mary, she has passed former standout Chelaine McCarty (2007-09) into 13th place all-time at Liberty with 1,064 career kills. Happel needs exactly 100 more kills to tie current Lady Flames assistant coach Rebecca Rudnick for 10th all-time, as Rudnick totaled 1,164 career kills from 2001-04.
Redshirt senior Kendle Rollins continues to lead the Big South in blocking, at 1.16 blocks per set. She is currently ranked fifth all-time at Liberty with 361 career blocks, and is on pace to become the fifth Lady Flame all-time to record 400 blocks.
Liberty vs. Gardner-Webb
Gardner-Webb (7-10, 0-1 Big South) opened conference play with a 3-1 setback at UNC Asheville, last Friday. The Runnin' Bulldogs swept South Carolina State on Tuesday, 3-0, hitting .308 as a team. Erin Anderson leads Gardner-Webb with 2.90 kills per set, while Emily Holte averages 2.53 kills per set. Brianna Starr ranks third in the Big South with 0.41 aces per set, while Heather Feldman is third with 9.87 assists per set. Anna Pashkova, with 4.74 digs per set, enters the weekend ranked fifth in the conference in digs per set.
Third-year head coach Leo Sayles holds a 26-52 record at Gardner-Webb after going 153-111 during seven years at Bryan College.
Liberty leads the all-time series over the Runnin' Bulldogs, 14-1, winning the first 11 meetings. Gardner-Webb's lone win in the series so far came on Nov. 11, 2011, a 3-0 win over Liberty. During each of Gardner-Webb's first four seasons in the Big South (2008-11), Liberty defeated Gardner-Webb in the Big South tournament's opening round.
The Lady Flames swept both meetings from the Runnin' Bulldogs in 2012, Sept. 28 and Nov. 10. Caroline Douglas sent down a match-high 13 kills in a 3-0 sweep of Gardner-Webb in the regular-season finale at the Vines Center.
Liberty vs. UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville enters the weekend with a 10-6 record, including 1-0 in Big South play after downing Gardner-Webb last Friday. The Bulldogs defeated USC Upstate, 3-1, on Tuesday, and play at Radford on Friday, before their Saturday match at the Vines Center. UNC Asheville ranks second in the Big South in digs (16.98), aces (1.54) and blocks (2.27) per set. Christine Lakatos is second in the conference in kills per set (3.51), while two-time all-conference player Anna Moore ranks second in attack percentage (.339) and fourth in blocks per set (1.08). Katie Davis is second with 10.31 assists per set, and Rachel Wells is rated fourth with 5.19 digs per set.
Third-year head coach Frederico Santos is 38-41 at UNC Asheville following three seasons during which he led Barry to a 46-31 record.
Liberty leads UNC Asheville, 32-20, in the all-time series, including 13-9 under Pinder. The two teams split the season series last year, with each team winning at home. Three out of the last five regular-season meetings have gone a full five sets.
The Bulldogs downed Liberty, 3-2, on Sept. 29, 2012 inside the Justice Center, behind 20 kills from Holly Shelton. The Lady Flames then swept Asheville, 3-0, on Nov. 9, 2012 to wrap up the Big South regular-season title, getting 19 kills from Caroline Douglas.
Liberty's Record at Home
Liberty has gone 24-1 in its last 25 home matches, and 44-6 (.880) in its last 50 home contests. The Lady Flames are 72-23 (.758) at home under 10th-year head coach Shane Pinder. Liberty is 16-6 (.727) all-time in conference home openers.
Liberty also holds two extended home winning streaks at present, winning 15 straight home matches overall and 21 conference home contests in a row.
The Lady Flames are 21-1 (.955) in conference home matches during the careers of their four current seniors (Jade Craycraft, Lillie Happel, Becca Haraf, Kendle Rollins). Overall under Pinder, Liberty is 54-11 (.831) in Big South home matches, including 47-4 (.922) since the start of the 2006 season.