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Bacon, Nelson Fuel Blue Team's 3-0 Victory Over White
"Karyl Bacon had a very good night," stated Liberty head coach Shane Pinder. "She was extremely tough to stop on the outside. Jess Nelson had a nice performance on the outside as well."
The Blue side, featuring Bacon, Lara Bartolomeo, Kallie Corbin, Chelaine McCarty, Nelson, Nicki Scripko and Ashley Webber in the opening game, raced out to an early 13-1 advantage. The White squad of Kristen Dalton, Brittany Pacella, Mary Alice Pike, Kirstyn Sanders, Carmen Streeper, Olivia Willats, assistant coach Becky Rudnick, assistant coach Jennifer Vaden, Randolph College head coach Johnathan Willis and Brandon Arronson, the husband of former LU player Athena Arronson, was unable to come back and fell to a 30-9 defeat.
Pinder, who coached the Blue squad, was especially satisfied with what he saw in game one. "Overall, I was pretty pleased tonight. However, our passing in the first game was really good and our offense was pretty strong throughout the match. Our serving was just a bit inconsistent."
Pinder was forced to call a timeout early in game two, with his side up by a 10-8 count. Pike, who played as the Blue team's right-side hitter in the middle game, then went on a serving run, helping her team gain some breathing room at 19-10. A series of powerful kills by the athletic Willis narrowed the gap to 20-16. However, the Blue unit went on to take the second game by a 30-23 count.
White jumped out to an early advantage in game three, and the score was knotted at 7-7, before Bacon began to sizzle for the Blue squad. Fellow freshman Scripko served for 10-straight points, a run which included several of Bacon's seven kills in the game. When the run was completed, the Blue team had taken control of the game and led, 18-7. The White team made a late run, but the Blue side completed the sweep with a 30-25 triumph.
Bacon tallied 10 kills despite playing the libero spot for the entire second game. For the night, she hit a match-high .450 and came up with a pair of solo blocks. Nelson, who missed the entire 2006 campaign due to injury, posted 10 kills of her own.
The Blue team's middle hitters, Webber and McCarty, enjoyed an efficient evening. Webber hit .383 and McCarty, a transfer from Auburn, came in at .277. The pair took advantage of a number of Corbin's 45 assists.
On the other side of the net, Pike ended up with 9 kills and a .290 attack percentage. Kirstyn Sanders, who also sat out with an injury a season ago, notched two solo blocks.
A crowd of approximately 150, largely comprised of LU students and student-athletes, took in the scrimmage. Pinder was appreciative of the turnout and expressed, "It's a whole different ballgame when you're playing in front of a crowd. I thought we had a great turnout tonight and want to thank our fans for their support."
Fans of the Lady Flames will get three chances to see their team in action this weekend, as Liberty opens its 2007 season with the Liberty Invitational Presented by Pepsi. The Lady Flames will meet Howard in the season opener, Friday night at 7 p.m., at the Vines Center. A pair of matches will follow on Saturday, including a 10:30 a.m. tilt with Duquesne and a 6 p.m. clash with Evansville.