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Liberty Netters Head to Ohio for Wright State Raider Challenge
The Wright State Raider Challenge will feature six matches in two days, at Wright State's C.J. McLin Gymnasium. Below is a full tournament schedule.
Friday, Sept. 7
5 p.m. – Liberty (3-3) vs. South Florida (2-1) - Live Stats
7 p.m. – The Citadel (1-3) at Wright State (1-7)
Saturday, Sept. 8
Noon – Liberty at Wright State - Live Stats
2 p.m. – The Citadel vs. South Florida
5 p.m. – Liberty vs. The Citadel - Live Stats
7 p.m. – South Florida at Wright State
A Look at Liberty
Liberty, coached by Shane Pinder (35-62 in his fourth season), finished 1-2 at last weekend's VCU 3rd Degree Sportswear Invitational. The Lady Flames split a pair of five-game matches to open the tournament, dropping a 3-2 decision to Maryland and coming from behind to defeat George Washington by the same margin. Liberty then fell, 3-1, at the hands of host VCU in its second match on Saturday.
For the second-consecutive weekend, sophomore setter Kallie Corbin was voted to an all-tournament team. Her most recent honor came as the result of the Oregon native's team-high 127 assists and seven aces. Corbin also ranked second on the Liberty roster with 47 digs over the weekend. She posted season-high totals in both digs (21) and aces (4) against VCU.
Sophomore middle blocker Chelaine McCarty also stood out, hitting a team-high .338. She ranked second on the squad in kills (31) and aces (5) and tied for second with seven total blocks. For the season, the Auburn transfer leads the Lady Flames with a .297 attack percentage.
Liberty received a boost from a pair of veterans in its comeback win over George Washington, Saturday morning. With his team struggling against the Colonials, Pinder inserted redshirt junior outside hitter Alysson Sanders and senior right-side hitter Mary Alice Pike into the lineup. Both Lady Flames delivered in the final two games of the match.
Sanders ended up with five kills and seven digs against George Washington. Meanwhile, Pike added eight kills on a stellar .500 attack percentage. For both players, it was their first extended playing time of the 2007 season.
Nailing the Non-Conference Foes
The Lady Flames' 3-2 victory over George Washington last Saturday was Liberty's third non-conference victory of the season. Liberty only won two non-conference matches during the entire 2006 campaign. Pinder's squad has 14 non-conference tilts remaining on the 2007 schedule, including the trio of matches at Wright State.
Best in the Big South
The Lady Flames lead the Big South Conference in both kills per game (14.24) and digs per game (18.28) through the early stages of the season.
Individually, freshman Karyl Bacon leads all conference players with five double-doubles, and Corbin is tied for the conference lead with three matches of 50-plus assists. Additionally, McCarty ranks third in attack percentage, Corbin is third in assists per game (10.76) and Bacon sits fifth in digs per game (4.44).
Next weekend, Liberty will travel to the Keystone State for its fourth and final season-opening tournament, the Villanova Classic, Sept. 14-15. The Lady Flames are scheduled to play Binghamton, Princeton, host Villanova and William & Mary at the tournament.
The South Florida Bulls, hailing from Tampa, Fla., compete in the Big East Conference. They are coached by Claire Lessinger, who is 27-60 in her fourth season on the Bulls' bench.
Like the Liberty men's basketball team, the Bulls spent Labor Day weekend in the Niagara Falls region. South Florida went 2-1 in its initial tournament of the season, the Western New York Invitational, dropping a five-game match to Buffalo before rebounding with wins over Niagara and Fordham.
Senior right-side hitter/middle blocker Kristina Fabris, a native of Ontario, flourished in her return to her home region. She notched two double-doubles, including a 26-kill, 17-dig output against Fordham, and made the all-tournament team.
The Lady Flames won their only match-up with South Florida in program history, going on the road to defeat the Bulls, 3-2, on Oct. 27, 1990. Down 2-0, Liberty rallied to win three-straight games, the latter two coming by 16-14 margins. Theresa Bream led the Lady Flames with 34 kills and 20 digs.
Liberty is 11-17 against current members of the Big East Conference. The Lady Flames are scheduled to face Georgetown and Villanova later this season.
The Wright State Raiders, from Dayton, Ohio, are members of the Horizon League. The team is coached by Trina Smith, who owns a record of 27-44 in her third year at the school.
Optimism was high entering the 2007 Wright State volleyball season, as the Raiders returned five starters plus the libero from its 2006 squad, which tied for second place in the Horizon League. The Raiders have won just one of their first eight matches to start the season, though, battling a challenging non-conference slate.
Senior outside hitter Samantha Connor leads the team with 109 kills and has recorded four double-doubles. Senior setter Lindsay Frank has 296 assists, 87 digs and a .333 attack percentage.
Wright State is 1-0 all-time against the Lady Flames, winning a 3-0 decision at the N.C. State Tournament on Sept. 8, 1995. Leeanna Miller sparked Liberty's attack in the match, ending up with a team-high nine kills.
Liberty is seeking its first win against the current membership of the Horizon League. The Lady Flames have lost all four matches against the 10 Horizon League teams.
The Citadel Bulldogs, based in Charleston, S.C., compete in the Southern Conference. The Bulldogs' coach is Carolyn Geiger, who is 11-27 in her second season at The Citadel.
The Citadel, 10-24 a season ago, is 1-3 to start the 2007 season. The Bulldogs' lone win came in their season opener, a five-game home triumph over Big South foe Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs are coming off a 3-2 loss to future Big South member Presbyterian in their final contest at the Jacksonville Invitational.
Junior outside hitter Rachel Sanders, who was included on the Jacksonville Invitational all-tournament team roster, is the team leader with 56 kills. Junior setter Emily Hill has added 141 assists and a team-high 14 aces in the first four matches of the season.
Liberty swept The Citadel, 3-0, in the teams' first-ever meeting on the volleyball court last season, at the Army of One Classic. Pike hit .579 with 11 kills for the Lady Flames, who set a new school single-match record with their .457 team attack percentage against the Bulldogs.
The Lady Flames are 38-23 in 61 all-time contests against current members of the Southern Conference. The Citadel is the only Southern Conference foe on Liberty's 2007 schedule.