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Liberty Halts ETSU's 13-Match Home Winning Streak
The Lady Flames, who have not dropped a single game in the month of October, improve to 15-7 on the season. Liberty, which has won five-straight 3-0 decisions for the first time since November 1998, claimed its first-ever victory over the Buccaneers, in five tries. Meanwhile, ETSU is 14-11 after falling for the second-straight time.
Nicki Scripko (RS/OH, Fayetteville, N.C.), who earned her second-consecutive Big South Freshman of the Week honor earlier in the day, opened the match with a kill. Liberty never trailed in game one, although the homestanding Buccaneers tied the score three times. The Lady Flames broke a 4-4 deadlock with a 12-6 surge, building a 16-10 lead. Chelaine McCarty (So., MB, Houston, Ala.) keyed the run with three kills and a pair of block assists.
Liberty took game one by the same six-point margin, 30-24, after another McCarty kill. The sophomore played an outstanding opening game, posting eight kills and three blocks, while hitting .667. Fellow middle blocker Ashley Webber (Jr., Lakeside, Calif.) also caused problems for the East Tennessee State defense, hitting 1.000 in the game with five kills.
The Buccaneers bounced back in game two and led for most of the stanza. Consecutive kills by Kristan Provchy had the home team on top by an 11-6 count. Liberty's first advantage did not come until 20-19, when a Jessica Nelson (R-Jr., OH, Tokyo, Japan) kill finished a 4-0 Lady Flame burst.
ETSU reclaimed a 25-24 edge, before the Lady Flames scored six of the game's final eight points to claim a 30-27 decision. Nelson posted two kills during the game-clinching surge, including one for Liberty's 30th point. For the game, the Liberty junior came up with six kills and a solo block.
Leading two games to none, Liberty could not help but think back to its home match versus ETSU, Nov. 7, 2006. In the Lady Flames' Senior Night tilt, they held a 2-0 lead over the Buccaneers, before the visitors rallied for a 3-2 win. This time, Liberty undid an early 4-2 deficit with a 9-2 burst. Webber had a hand in consecutive Lady Flame blocks, which made the score 11-6 in favor of Liberty. East Tennessee State never seriously threatened the rest of the evening, and a Webber kill finished Liberty's 30-24 game three win.
Freshmen Scripko and Karyl Bacon (OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) evenly divided eight kills during the final game, one which saw Liberty commit only one attack error. The Buccaneers went down to defeat, despite seven kills by Desiree Dyck in the stanza.
For the evening, Liberty outhit ETSU, .378 to .238. The Lady Flames' attack percentage was bolstered by Webber, who hit .818, notching nine kills in 11 swings. McCarty, Liberty's other starting middle blocker, led three Lady Flames in double figures with her 13 kills. She also hit .393 and had a hand in five of Liberty's eight blocks.
Scripko and Nelson both contributed 12 kills and nine digs. Scripko, who hit. 526 for the match, has compiled a .486 hitting percentage during Liberty's five-match winning streak.
Bacon's 12 digs paced the Lady Flames, while Kallie Corbin (So., S, Beaverton, Ore.) finished with 48 assists, four kills, five digs and three blocks.
East Tennessee State boasted the match leaders in both kills and digs, as Dyck notched 16 kills and libero Kaena Apana added a matching number of digs.
Liberty will begin its second go-around through the Big South conference schedule Friday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames begin their annual "Beach Trip" with a visit to Charleston Southern (8-13, 1-5 Big South).