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Sweep Celebration - Sanders Enjoys Lady Flames' Victory over Presbyterian
Liberty redshirt junior outside hitter Alysson Sanders made sure her birthday would be an enjoyable one. She was one of three Lady Flames to hit .591 or better, Friday night at the Vines Center, sparking Liberty to a 3-0 (30-19, 30-17, 30-15) sweep of Presbyterian.
Head coach Shane Pinder's Lady Flames never trailed during their third-consecutive 3-0 sweep during the current homestand. Liberty is now 13-7 after defeating Presbyterian in its first-ever meeting with the Blue Hose, future Big South members. Meanwhile, the visitors leave town with a 15-8 mark, after suffering their fourth-consecutive defeat.
Liberty roared out of the gate with six-straight points to open the match, two of which came via Karyl Bacon (Fr., OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) kills. Presbyterian got no closer than four points down the remainder of the game, and Nicki Scripko's (Fr., RS/OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) seventh kill of game one sealed a 30-19 triumph.
Scripko hit .600 and Chelaine McCarty (So., Houston, Ala.) posted a .667 attack percentage with five kills, contributing to Liberty's .343 team attack percentage. Jessica Nelson (R-Jr., OH, Tokyo, Japan) chipped in defensively, with eight digs. Justine Lanchester stood out for the Blue Hose during the opening game, pacing the team in kills (4) and hitting a robust .667.
The homestanding Lady Flames again took the lead at the outset of game two, posting the first three points. Presbyterian closed the gap to 3-2, before a 6-2 Liberty burst opened up some breathing room. Scripko tallied a pair of kills during the surge, which put the Lady Flames on top, 9-4. Liberty then cruised to a 30-17 win, recording a .410 attack percentage in the process.
Sanders (Bear, Del.) was extremely efficient offensively during the middle game, connecting for kills on four of her five attacks, including one on the game's final point. Scripko and McCarty each hit over .600 as well, sending Liberty into the intermission with a 2-0 advantage.
The score was knotted four times during the early stages of game three, before Liberty fashioned a 4-0 run to seize control. Presbyterian never mounted an extended scoring run the rest of the evening, and the Lady Flames closed out the match with a 30-15 triumph. Senior Mary Alice Pike (RS, Durham, N.C.) served up one of her team's three aces for the final point.
Setter Kallie Corbin (So., Beaverton, Ore.) stood out during the final game, posting kills on both of her attack attempts, orchestrating Liberty's offense to a .342 hitting percentage with her 15 assists and serving for an ace. Fittingly, McCarty and Scripko, Liberty's two most proficient attackers on the evening, evenly split eight kills during the final game.
McCarty and Scripko both posted the highest attack percentages of their careers, helping Liberty notch its second-best team percentage of the season, .366. McCarty hit .600 with 14 kills and a pair of blocks, marking her seventh-straight match with double-figure kills and a .300 hitting percentage. Scripko, the reigning Big South Freshman of the Week, paced all players with 15 kills and hit .591 on the evening.
Sanders finished with a .750 attack percentage and six kills, splitting time at outside hitter with Nelson. Nelson recorded a match-high 12 digs while on the court, completing a successful tandem.
Corbin finished with 52 assists, a career-high mark in a three-game sweep. She eclipsed the 2,000-assist mark for her career and has now posted 2,002 assists in the first 49 matches of her career. Senior libero Lara Bartolomeo (Huntington Beach, Calif.) came up with 10 digs and has now provided at least 10 digs in each of Liberty's last 19 matches.
Lauren Mason, the lone senior on Presbyterian's roster, returned from injury to lead her team with eight kills. Lanchester added six kills and a match-best three block assists. Libero Elizabeth Heineman ended up with a team-high eight digs for the visitors.
Liberty will be off on Saturday before closing out its four-match homestand Sunday at 2 p.m. with a Big South match against UNC Asheville (6-16, 0-5 Big South). The Bulldogs will look to snap an eight-match losing streak, while the Lady Flames will attempt to post another birthday win. On Sunday, Nelson will be the birthday girl.