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Lady Flames Close Out Spring Season at VCU Spring Invitational

April 8, 2007
|  Richmond, Va.
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Jessica Nelson bounced back from a leg injury to spark the Lady Flames' offensive attack this spring.

Jessica Nelson bounced back from a leg injury to spark the Lady Flames' offensive attack this spring.

The Liberty Lady Flames volleyball team brought its spring season to a close by winning four of its eight games at the VCU Spring Invitational, Saturday at the Siegel Center's Alltel Pavilion in Richmond, Va. 

The Lady Flames got off to a slow start against James Madison, warming up halfway through the first game before coming up on the short end of a 31-29 decision. Liberty then rebounded in the second game of the two-game match to defeat the Dukes, 30-24. 

The team split its next match against the VCU alumni as well, losing the first game in a nailbiter, 34-36 and then bouncing back to take the second game, 30-27. Both morning matches featured key serving runs by junior right side hitter Mary Alice Pike. 

The Lady Flames opened the afternoon with a 2-0 victory, soundly defeating Hampton, 30-13 and 30-18. 

Host VCU proved too tough for Liberty, however, as the Lady Flames fell to the Rams in the day's final match, by a 30-23 count in both games. 

On the day, outside hitters Alysson Sanders and Jessica Nelson led the way attack, complemented by freshman middle hitter Stephanie Stow. 

Also notable were the contributions of seniors-to-be, Pike and Lara Bartolomeo. "The two [2007] seniors set the table for the fall with their leadership on and off the court," noted head coach Shane Pinder. 

"I feel like we had a good spring," Pinder added. "We are excited about the progress we made these last several weeks. The off-season will be critical for us and we will come back here in shape and ready for a great 2007 season." 

Liberty will open the 2007 campaign at home, with a trio of matches at the Liberty Invitational, beginning with an Aug. 24 contest versus Howard.