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Lady Flames Sweep N.C. State to Open 2008
Liberty is 1-0 after beginning its year with a win for the second straight season. The victory was the first for the Lady Flames against an ACC opponent since Liberty defeated N.C. State, 3-1, on Oct. 19, 2004. N.C. State falls to 0-2, as the Wolfpack dropped a 3-0 decision to the host VCU Rams earlier in the day. N.C. State has now lost 30 matches in a row, dating back to last season.
Brittany Pacella (R-Jr., RS, Reading, Pa.), making her first career start, contributed significantly to the Lady Flames' 25-19 opening-set win. Facing her former team, the right-side hitter served for four consecutive points early in the session, including a pair of aces. Pacella also contributed three kills on just five attempts, helping the Lady Flames hit .438 as a team during the set. McCarty (Jr., MB, Houston, Ala.) paced Liberty's balanced offensive attack with four kills during set one. All six Lady Flames starters tallied two or more kills in the set.
Pacella also got Liberty started off on the right foot in set two. Her kill on the opening rally instigated a 7-0 Lady Flames spurt to open the stanza. From that point, Liberty cruised to a 25-8 victory, on the strength of a .600 team attack percentage. Jessica Nelson (Sr., OH, Tokyo, Japan) led the way, tallying four second-set kills.
N.C. State regrouped during an abbreviated intermission and came out swinging in set three. The Wolfpack notched the set's first four points before Liberty answered with a run of its own. Nicki Scripko (So., OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) served up a pair of aces and Ashley Webber (Sr., MB, Lakeside, Calif.) contributed a pair of kills and a block to the Lady Flames' ensuing 7-0 surge. Liberty led the rest of the way, wrapping up its season-opening sweep with a 25-20 triumph. Webber and McCarty evenly divided 10 kills during the final set.
Five players finished with at least six kills for the Lady Flames, and Liberty hit .383 as a team. Nelson posted nine kills and tied Karyl Bacon (So., OH/DS Temecula, Calif.) and Kallie Corbin (Jr., S, Beaverton, Ore.) for the team lead with seven digs.
Webber only needed 10 swings to post eight kills from her middle blocker position, hitting .800 on the afternoon. Scripko made a successful move to outside hitter, putting down seven kills and matching her career high with three aces.
Pacella and Corbin both filled up numerous statistical columns for the Lady Flames. Pacella set new career bests for kills (6), digs (6), aces (2) and blocks (2), while matching her previous career high with a trio of assists. Meanwhile, Corbin summed a match-high 32 assists to go along with three kills and her seven digs.
Arlee Tamietti, a transfer from Boise State, led N.C. State with nine kills. Libero Kelly Wood opened her career with a solid outing, as the Wolfpack freshman tallied a match-best 13 digs.
Liberty will return to action at the VCU Third Degree Sportswear Invitational with a pair of Saturday matches. The Lady Flames will square off with Central Michigan (1-0) in the opening match of the day, at 10 a.m. Liberty will then play its third and final tournament match versus Maryland (0-1) at 2 p.m., at Alltel Pavilion.