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Liberty Set to Compete at Brown Invitational

September 10, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Complete Match Notes

Liberty heads to Rhode Island for the first time in program history, competing at the Brown Invitational this weekend. The Lady Flames open the tournament on Friday at 2:30 p.m., taking on Central Connecticut State (0-6). Liberty then faces host Brown (0-4) at 7:30, Friday. On Saturday, Liberty meets UMass-Lowell (1-7) at 11:30, before completing the tournament with a 5 p.m. match against 2013 MAAC champion Fairfield (3-4).

The Lady Flames are 1-0 all-time against both Central Connecticut State and Fairfield, and will meet Brown and UMass-Lowell for the first time ever.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for all matches this weekend, courtesy of Brown athletic communications. Liberty's match against Brown on Friday will be available for online viewing through a live video stream.

Starting Rotation
1. Liberty, in the midst of its second five-match week in a row, posted a 3-1 victory at Georgetown, Tuesday. The Lady Flames set season highs in aces (7), digs (81) and blocks (13.5) against the Hoyas.

2.  Freshman Hannah Weidner was named Big South Freshman of the Week on Monday. She scored a team-high 16 kills on Tuesday at Georgetown and posted five blocks for the second match in a row. Weidner is ranked fourth in the Big South with 3.71 kills per set.

3. Senior Gabrielle Shipe started the season ranked 15th in program history for career digs. After collecting 16 digs at Georgetown, she is now ninth all-time with 1,308 career digs. She added a career-high 10 assists on Tuesday, earning her first double-double.

4. The Lady Flames posted a season-high 13.5 blocks at Georgetown. Over their last three matches, they have averaged 2.58 blocks per set. Junior Jade Vorster totaled nine blocks on Tuesday, the most by a Lady Flame this season.

5. Freshman Sirena Vorster recorded 10 kills at a .333 pace at Georgetown, good for her first career 10-kill match. She is the fifth Lady Flame to post at least one double-digit kill match this season

6. Junior Caila Stapleton leads the Big South with 10.10 assists per set. On Tuesday, she posted her second career double-double, with 41 assists and a career-high 18 digs.

7.  Junior Rachel Smoltz registered her first career 10-dig match, Saturday against UNCG, and followed up with a career-high 14 digs, Tuesday at Georgetown.

Weidner Named Big South Freshman of Week
Freshman Hannah Weidner was named the Big South Volleyball Freshman of the Week on Monday, averaging 3.89 kills and 0.79 blocks per during Liberty's 3-2 week. She posted a pair of 19-kill matches last week at James Madison and versus USC Upstate.

Weidner leads the Lady Flames with 3.71 kills per set this season, converting at a .286 pace. She ranks fourth in the conference in kills.

On Tuesday at Georgetown, Weidner led all players with 16 kills while adding five blocks for the second match in a row.

Big Match
Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas sent down a season-high 21 kills on Saturday against UNCG, the most kills by a Lady Flame since Douglas recorded a career-high 26 kills at High Point, Nov. 2, 2012. It also marked Douglas' third career 20-kill match.

Douglas, the 2012 Big South Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, then added 15 kills and five blocks at Georgetown. She is ranked seventh in the Big South with 3.41 kills per set.

Dig In
The Lady Flames collected a season-high 81 digs at Georgetown, after posting 80 digs versus UNCG. Junior Caila Stapleton collected a career-high 18 digs, while senior Gabrielle Shipe had 16 digs. Junior Rachel Smoltz recorded her second straight 10-dig match with a career-high 14 digs, while classmate Haley Jeffcoat had 11 digs.

Shipe broke into Liberty's all-time top 10 in career digs over the weekend, and now ranks ninth in program history with 1,308 career digs. She needs five more digs to pass Liberty Athletics Hall of Famer and Big South Hall of Famer Anthonia Akpama (1996-99) into eighth place all-time at Liberty.

Dishing it Out
Junior setter Caila Stapleton leads the Big South with 10.10 assists per set.

Against Maryland on Aug. 29, Stapleton set or tied career highs in assists (54), digs (7) and aces (2). Her 54 assists were the most by a Lady Flame since Jade Craycraft had 56 helpers at Charleston Southern on Oct. 12, 2012.

Freshman Anna Willey contributed a career-high 27 assists and two aces versus USC Upstate, Saturday.

Own the Net
The Lady Flames have traditionally been a strong blocking team, leading the Big South in blocks per set during three out of the last four seasons.

Over the span of their last three matches, they have averaged 2.58 blocks per set. On Tuesday at Georgetown, Liberty posted a season-high 13.5 blocks. Junior Jade Vorster led all players with a season-best nine blocks, while Hannah Weidner and Caroline Douglas both recorded season highs with five blocks apiece.

Vorster, who was a two-time All-Big West selection at Hawai'i, is ranked third in the Big South with 1.18 blocks per set.

Double-Double (x2)
Junior Caila Stapleton dished out 41 assists and collected a career-high 18 digs on Tuesday at Georgetown, good for her second career double-double. She had previously posted 26 assists and 11 digs at James Madison, last Tuesday.

Senior Gabrielle Shipe posted her first career double-double at Georgetown, with a career-high 10 assists and 16 digs.

10+-Club
Freshman Sirena Vorster sent down 10 kills at Georgetown, making her the ninth current Lady Flame with at least one career collegiate double-digit kill match.

Caroline Douglas posted a 26-kill match at High Point on Nov. 2, 2012. Additional Lady Flames and their collegiate career highs in kills: Maribeth Kern (23 - while at King (Tenn.)); Hannah Weidner (19); Nzea McQuitery (15); Haley Jeffcoat (13); Jade Vorster (13 - while at Hawai'i); Melissa Racz (12); Susan Babcock (11).

Liberty vs. Central Connecticut State
All-Time Series:
Liberty leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Liberty 3, CCSU 0 (Oct. 20, 1989 - Delaware Invitational)
CCSU Head Coach (Yrs./record at school): Linda Sagnelli (15th yr./239-181)
CCSU 2013 Record: 21-9; 11-3 NEC
CCSU 2014 Record: 0-6

Liberty vs. Brown
All-Time Series:
First Meeting
Brown Head Coach (Yrs./record at school): Diane Short (22nd yr./223-330)
Brown 2013 Record: 12-13, 8-6 Ivy League
Brown 2014 Record: 0-4

Liberty vs. UMass-Lowell
All-Time Series:
First Meeting
UMass-Lowell Head Coach (Yrs./record at school): Resa Provanzano (1st yr.)
UMass-Lowell 2013 Record: 0-26, 0-12 America East
UMass-Lowell 2014 Record: 1-7

Liberty vs. Fairfield
All-Time Series:
Liberty leads, 1-0
Last Meeting: Liberty 3, Fairfield 2 (Sept. 7, 2001 - Cincinnati, Ohio)
Fairfield Head Coach (Yrs./record at school): Todd Kress (5th yr./97-49)
Fairfield 2013 Record: 19-13, 14-4 MAAC (MAAC Tournament Champion)
Fairfield 2014 Record: 3-4

Busy Time
The Lady Flames are in the midst of a span of nine matches in nine days, as they played four matches at the Liberty Invitational last weekend and will compete four times at the Brown Invitational, Friday and Saturday, after facing Georgetown, Tuesday.

The last time that the Lady Flames competed in four matches in two separate tournaments was 2005, opening the season with four contests at the Aztec Invitational, before playing four times at the William & Mary Invitational the following weekend.

Comeback Kids
The Lady Flames came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat James Madison, 3-1, last Tuesday, and trailed 2-0 during their 3-2 victory over UNCG, Saturday.

Prior to Saturday's comeback, the last time that Liberty won after trailing 2-0 was Aug. 31, 2012, a 3-2 victory over Jacksonville. Three current Lady Flames, Caroline Douglas, Haley Jeffcoat and Gabrielle Shipe, played in both the Jacksonville match and Saturday's win over UNCG.