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Lady Flames Set to Compete at William & Mary, Tuesday
Liberty (1-12, 0-1 Big South) completes its non-conference schedule on Tuesday, traveling to face William & Mary (4-12, 0-1 CAA) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Lady Flames wrap up a 10-match road swing on Tuesday, and are looking to snap a nine-match winless streak. The Tribe aims to end a five-match losing skid as well.
The Lady Flames will then return to the Vines Center, hosting Gardner-Webb (6-10, 0-1 Big South) on Friday and UNC Asheville (9-6, 1-0 Big South) on Saturday. Liberty has won its last 15 home matches, and holds a 21-match Big South home winning streak.
Liberty at a Glance
Two-time defending Big South champion Liberty opened conference play with a 3-0 setback at Radford, Friday. Sophomore Haley Jeffcoat led the Lady Flames with a career-high 13 kills, while seniors Lillie Happel and Jade Craycraft both recorded double-doubles.
The Lady Flames are currently ranked second in the Big South with 2.32 blocks per set, and redshirt senior Kendle Rollins leads the conference with 1.23 blocks per set.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for all matches this week, through links on LibertyFlames.com. Fans can view Tuesday's match, for a small fee, through William & Mary's athletics website, TribeAthletics.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.
Liberty opened its Big South schedule with a 3-0 setback at Radford on Friday night. Prior to Friday's match, Liberty had won eight straight conference openers, seven Big South regular-season matches in a row and 24 straight meetings with Radford.
Sophomore Haley Jeffcoat sent down a career-high 13 kills, while seniors Lillie Happel (12 kills, season-high 17 digs) and Jade Craycraft (28 assists, season-high 13 digs) both recorded double-doubles.
Senior Lillie Happel recorded her 28th career double-double, and second this season, on Friday at Radford, with 12 kills and 17 digs. Classmate Jade Craycraft dished out 28 assists and added 13 digs, good for her third double-double of the season, and 27th of her career. Friday's match marked the second time this season, and 13th time during their careers, during which both Craycraft and Happel have recorded a double-double.
When Haley Jeffcoat registered a career-high 13 kills on Friday night, she became the ninth current Lady Flame, and sixth this season, to post a 10-kill match.
Lillie Happel and Caroline Douglas are tied for the most kills in a single match by an active Lady Flame, with both recording a 26-kill match last season. Additional Lady Flames and their career highs in kills: Kendle Rollins (17), Melissa Racz (12), Susan Babcock (11), Monica Johnson (11), Nzea McQuitery (11) and Jade Craycraft (10).
Liberty has continued its tradition of strong net defense, and is now ranked second in the Big South in blocking, at 2.32 blocks per set. Kendle Rollins leads the way with a conference-best 1.23 blocks per set.
Rollins has registered five or more blocks during each of the last three matches, and is currently ranked No. 5 in program history with 359 career blocks.
Senior Jade Craycraft, who averages 0.80 blocks per set this season, has posted 253 career blocks, the most by a Liberty setter in program history.
Senior Lillie Happel led the Lady Flames with 17 digs on Friday at Radford, followed by 13 digs from senior Jade Craycraft. It marked the second match in a row during which a Lady Flame collected 15 or more digs, as sophomore Allie Reynolds tallied 15 digs against UMBC on Sept. 21.
A total of three Lady Flames have posted at least one 15-dig match this season, in Happel, Reynolds and junior Gabrielle Shipe. Shipe set a season high with 23 digs in a 3-1 win over Georgetown, Sept. 3.
Versatility at Setter
Senior Jade Craycraft has shown versatility throughout her career. On Friday at Radford, she recorded a double-double for the second match in a row. During her career, Craycraft has posted one triple-double (Nov. 19, 2010 at Winthrop), one assists-blocks double-double (Sept. 23, 2011 at Radford), and one kills-assists double-double (Sept. 3, 2013 vs. Georgetown).
Craycraft has totaled 3,602 career assists, ranking sixth in program history. She is on pace to become the fifth player in program history to record 4,000 or more career assists.
With 253 blocks, Craycraft needs 49 more blocks to enter Liberty's all-time top 10.
Liberty vs. William & Mary
William & Mary (4-12, 0-1 CAA) is in the midst of a five-match winless streak, including back-to-back five-set losses at Hampton and James Madison in its last two matches. Overall, the Tribe is 2-3 in five-set matches so far this season. Liz Brown leads the Tribe with 3.17 kills per set, followed by Mallory Brickerd at 2.89 kills per set. Paulette Grand Pre averages a team-best 4.14 digs per set, while Carolyn Albright recorded 1.02 blocks per set and Paige Lucas leads the team with 9.53 assists per set.
The Tribe holds a 10-4 advantage over Liberty in the all-time series, although the Lady Flames have won each of the last three meetings. William & Mary won each of the first nine meetings with Liberty all-time, in a series dating back to 1979.
William & Mary's sixth-year head coach, Melissa Shelton, spent 13 seasons (1995-2007) at Virginia, and has totaled a 308-258 record over 18 years of coaching. Shelton has a 73-79 record during her five years at William & Mary. She is 7-3 all-time against Liberty, including 6-0 while at Virginia and 2-3 overall against Coach Pinder.
The Last Meeting
Liberty opened the 2012 home schedule with a 3-1 win over William & Mary, Aug. 28, 2012. William and Mary's 25-19 set-two win was the only set that the Lady Flames lost in the Vines Center all season. The Lady Flames totaled 14.5 team blocks.
Caroline Douglas led Liberty with 12 kills, while Loren Thomas added a season-high nine blocks and three Lady Flames (Gabrielle Shipe - 22, Lillie Happel - 13, Becca Haraf - 11) tallied double-digit digs. Paulette Grand Pre (13 kills, 15 digs) and Dessi Koleva (12 kills, 13 digs) both recorded double-doubles for the Tribe.
Commonwealth of Success
Liberty plays its second of four straight matches inside Virginia, Tuesday at William & Mary. The Lady Flames are 1-1 inside the Commonwealth of Virginia this season, and 32-7 (.821) in their home state since the start of the 2010 season. Overall, Liberty is 97-47 (.674) in matches played in Virginia under Pinder.
In total, the Lady Flames compete in Virginia 10 times this season, including eight home matches, and trips to William & Mary and Radford.