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Pinder Tops Career Win Chart with 3-0 Liberty Sweep of Runnin' Bulldogs
Liberty volleyball head coach Shane Pinder became the winningest coach in program history, as the Lady Flames swept Gardner-Webb, 3-0 (28-26, 25-19, 25-18) on Friday at Paul Porter Arena.
The Lady Flames improve their record to 14-5, including 2-0 in Big South play following their fifth straight win. Gardner-Webb is now 8-12, with an even 1-1 conference mark.
Pinder, in his 11th year at the helm, has led the Lady Flames to a 199-144 career record, including four Big South postseason titles and four NCAA Tournament appearances. On Friday, he passed former head coach Chris Phillips (1992-97, 1999-03), who went 198-174 at Liberty.
For the match, Liberty outhit Gardner-Webb, .298-.123 while also leading, 48-42 in digs. Both teams served up two aces, while the Runnin' Bulldogs led, 8-4, in blocks.
Liberty redshirt junior Caroline Douglas recorded her fourth 20-kill match in a row, with 20 kills and nine digs. Freshman Hannah Weidner scored 13 kills, making this the 12th straight match during which both Douglas and Weidner have reached double figures in kills.
Sophomore Nzea McQuitery registered nine kills, while junior Caila Stapleton registered 46 assists. Junior Jade Vorster had a team-high four blocks, while sophomore Kate Corson collected 12 digs. Senior Gabrielle Shipe totaled eight digs, becoming the sixth player in program history with 1,500 or more career digs.
Gardner-Webb's Tyler Cockrell registered a team-high 10 kills and five blocks, while Tyra Montour recorded nine kills. Anna Pashkova collected a match-high 13 digs, while Heather Feldman totaled 29 assists.
The Runnin' Bulldogs held a 22-15, set-one lead following a Montour kill. Liberty then went on a 6-0 run, drawing to within 22-21 with a kill from McQuitery. Montour and Lillard sent down back-to-back kills, but the Lady Flames fought off a total of five Gardner-Webb set-point tries. Weidner made the score 27-26, Liberty, with a pair of kills, before a Runnin' Bulldog error sealed Liberty's 28-26 win. In all, the Lady Flames ended the set on a 13-4 run.
The Lady Flames outhit Gardner-Webb, .319 to .214 during the opening frame. Liberty's Douglas scored nine kills, while Weidner recorded six kills.
Liberty held a sizeable advantage for a majority of the second set. Gardner-Webb trimmed the deficit to 17-14 with a kill by Cockrell. Weidner's kill then sparked a 5-0 Liberty rally to give the guests a 22-14 lead. The Runnin' Bulldogs outscored Liberty, 5-1, making the score 23-19. Gabrielle Vess and McQuitery then scored back-to-back kills for the 25-19 victory.
The visitors held a .282-.036 edge in hitting percentage during set two. McQuitery led all players with five kills during the second stanza.
Gardner-Webb trailed set three by just one, 17-16, after a Brianna Starr kill. The Lady Flames ended the match on an 8-2 run, racing to a 25-18 victory. Liberty outhit Gardner-Webb, .286-.083, as the Lady Flames posted three blocks. Douglas scored seven kills, while Runnin' Bulldogs Cockrell and Montour tied with four kills apiece. Jade Vorster factored in on all three of Liberty's blocks.
The Lady Flames conclude their weekend in North Carolina tomorrow, playing at UNC Asheville, with the match set to begin at 2 p.m. at the Justice Center.