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Liberty Sets New School Record in Sweep

September 5, 2008
|  Fairfax, Va.
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Jessica Nelson hit .600 with a match-high 11 kills during Friday morning's victory over Saint Francis (Pa.). (Photo courtesy Duke Photography)

Jessica Nelson hit .600 with a match-high 11 kills during Friday morning's victory over Saint Francis (Pa.). (Photo courtesy Duke Photography)

The Liberty volleyball team continued its hot start to the 2008 season, Friday morning versus Saint Francis (Pa.). The Lady Flames used a school-record .483 attack percentage to sweep the Red Flash, 3-0 (25-16, 25-10, 25-16), in the opening match of the Patriot Invitational, at the George Mason Field House in Fairfax, Va.

Liberty's previous program attack percentage record of .457 had been set on Sept. 16, 2006 versus The Citadel. The Lady Flames totaled 35 kills and just six attack errors on 60 attempts Friday. Liberty's offensive efficiency, combined with nine service aces for the Lady Flames, helped wrap up the match in just 59 minutes.

With the victory in its first-ever meeting with Saint Francis, Liberty remains unbeaten on the young season, at 4-0. Meanwhile, the Red Flash dropped their fourth straight contest and are now 1-4.

The opening set was tightly contested early on, as a kill by Kristin Buter pulled the Red Flash to within two points at 14-12. Jessica Nelson's (Sr., OH, Tokyo, Japan) kill on the ensuing play brought up libero Kelly Haseman's (Fr., Three Rivers, Mich.) turn to serve. Haseman served for five consecutive points, including a pair of aces, increasing the Lady Flames' advantage to 20-12. From that point, Liberty rolled to a 25-16 triumph.

Haseman totaled three aces and a matching number of digs during the first set. Nelson led the way offensively, putting down four kills and helping the Lady Flames hit .579 as a team. Shirley Miller did most of the offensive work for Saint Francis, notching six kills during set one.

Set two was tied up 5-5, before Liberty reeled off 14 of the next 16 points to take control. The Lady Flames went on to fashion a 25-10 decision, on the strength of a .667 team attack percentage. Nicki Scripko (So., OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) tallied four of Liberty's nine kills during the set.

The third and final set went back and forth during the early stages, as the lead changed hands three times and the score was tied on five occasions. Liberty snapped the final deadlock, 11-11, with four straight points. Freshman Claire Jacobsma (RS, Midland, Texas) contributed on back-to-back plays during the quick surge, which gave the Lady Flames a lead they did not relinquish. Jacobsma assisted on a Karyl Bacon (So., OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) kill and then teamed up with Kirstyn Sanders (R-So., MB, Bear, Del.) on a block. Liberty closed out its fourth win in a row at 25-16, when Chelaine McCarty (Jr., MB, Houston, Ala.) served up the Lady Flames' third ace of the set.

Nelson contributed six kills and four digs to Liberty's third-set triumph. McCarty added four kills on just five swings, good for an .800 attack percentage.

On the afternoon, Nelson was the lone player from either team to reach double figures in the kill column. The senior finished with a season-best 11 kills and tied teammate Bacon for the match high with seven digs. Nelson hit .600 in the match, as she was one of four Liberty starters to post an attack percentage of .500 or higher.

Setter Kallie Corbin (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) hit a perfect 1.000, recording kills on all three of her attempts. She also contributed 28 assists, a pair of aces and four digs. McCarty ended up with a .750 attack percentage and nine kills, while Scripko hit .500 with seven kills.

Freshmen combined for five of Liberty's nine service aces. Haseman had three aces, while classmate Rebecca Warren (DS/L, Virginia Beach, Va.) notched a pair of aces in her collegiate debut.

For Saint Francis, Miller put down eight kills and Buter added six. Rikki Myers totaled 22 assists.

Liberty will play its second match of the day at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames take on host George Mason. The intra-state rivals will square off for the first time since the 2003 season.