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2010 Volleyball Home Opener Set for Tonight
The Liberty Lady Flames will host their 2010 home opener at the Vines Center tonight, welcoming in-state rival James Madison for a 7 p.m. matchup.
The Lady Flames wrapped up a second-place finish at the Elon Phoenix Classic over the weekend, defeating Elon and Stetson and falling to eventual champion Northern Illinois.
Outside hitters Karyl Bacon and Lillie Happel were named to the all-tournament team. Bacon has now made the all-tournament team at all three events this year, while Happel enjoyed her first collegiate honor.
Liberty at a Glance
The 2010 Lady Flames (6-3) are tied for the second-best record through the first nine matches in program history. The 1978 squad was also 6-3, while the 1996 and 2008 squads boasted 8-1 starts to the season.
A Peak for Pinder
With a win tonight, Head Coach Shane Pinder will become the second winningest coach in Liberty program history. He currently owns 110 career wins, which ties him with Beth Dalton (1981-84, 1991). Chris (Fletcher) Phillips, who was Liberty's coach from 1992-97 and 1999-2003, holds the school record for the most victories, with a record of 198-174.
History for Haseman
Libero Kelly Haseman notched her 1,000th career dig during Friday's win over Stetson, in just the seventh match of her junior year. She now stands at 1,030 career digs.
The Lady Flames showed great poise at the service line over the weekend, tallying 25 aces as a team. Erica Manor had seven aces, including three in a row against Elon, while freshmen Lillie Happel and Jade Craycraft contributed six and five, respectively.
The Lady Flames had 13 aces against Stetson alone, paced by Kelly Haseman (5). The last time a Liberty squad had 13 or more aces was on Sept. 6, 2003, when the Lady Flames defeated Campbell, 3-0, in Charlottesville, Va. (14).
Bringing Home the Bacon
Senior Karyl Bacon will play her final home opener after tying a career-high with 20 kills against Elon on Saturday. She also had 20 on Sept. 4, her birthday, in Liberty's 3-1 win over North Florida. Bacon has recorded double-digit kills in every match this season, and has had six double-doubles so far in 2010.
Swinging on the Vines
The Lady Flames are 12-8 in home openers since 1990, and are 76-29 at the Vines Center in regular season play since 2001. Karyl Bacon had a successful home opener three years ago, when she recorded a double-double (10 kills, 10 digs) as a freshman playing against Howard on Aug. 24, 2007.
Edging the Opponents
The Lady Flames are outhitting their opponents, 448 kills to 355, and Liberty posts a .230 attack percentage compared to their opponents' percentage of .167. The Lady Flames also lead their opponents in assists (401 to 330), aces (59 to 31) and digs (456 to 431).
As a team, Liberty leads the Big South in hitting percentage (.230), assists (12.15 per set), kills (13.58 per set) and aces (1.79 per set). Kelly Haseman leads all Big South players, averaging 4.94 digs per set.
Around the Big South
Liberty currently leads the conference with a 6-3 overall record, followed by Presbyterian College (4-3). Coastal Carolina and Radford are in a tie for third with a 5-5 record, followed by Charleston Southern and UNC Asheville (4-6), Gardner-Webb (3-6), Winthrop (2-7) and High Point (2-8).
The Blue Hose are on a two-game winning streak after posting wins over Bradley and Hofstra at the CEFCU Classic, and will travel to Cullowhee, N.C. on Wednesday to face off against Western Carolina.
The Chanticleers have won five matches in a row, defeating Campbell and Long Island at the Hokie Invitational and beating The Citadel, Norfolk State and USC Upstate at their home tournament Sept. 10 and 11. They next compete in the Kennesaw State Owl Invitational this weekend, squaring off against Troy, Kennesaw State and Ohio State.
Radford went undefeated at the DePaul tournament last weekend, edging Georgia State and DePaul. The Highlanders will now make the trek to Charleston, S.C., for the College of Charleston Tournament, where they will meet Central Michigan, College of Charleston and North Florida.
Charleston Southern is coming off a 2-2 appearance at the UNF Tournament, where the Lady Bucs posted wins over North Florida and Chattanooga, but fell to Troy and Illinois-Chicago.
The UNC Asheville Bulldogs have dropped four contests in a row after losing to UNC Greensboro, Austin Peay and East Tennessee State at the ETSU Invitational over the weekend. They will try to regroup this week, playing single matches at N.C. A&T and Western Carolina before opening conference play.
The Runnin' Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb went 2-1 at their own tournament last weekend, defeating Wofford and Weber State and falling to Kennesaw State. They will host USC Upstate in a single match this evening in Boiling Springs, N.C.
The Winthrop Eagles suffered three losses at the Kansas Invitational over the weekend, but did manage to take a set from both Kansas and Arkansas. They will wrap up non-conference play with an appearance in the Spring Hill Suites Invitational this weekend in Statesboro, Ga., competing against South Alabama, Georgia Southern and East Tennessee State.
The Panthers of High Point were also winless over the weekend, falling to Arizona State, UC Riverside and Utah Valley State at the ASU Sheraton Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. The Panthers will host Campbell tonight before traveling to Davidson, N.C. for the Mizuno Wildcat Classic this weekend.
Scouting James Madison
The Dukes (7-2) are on a four-match winning streak after a 3-0 appearance at their own tournament over the weekend, where they defeated Loyola (Md.), Delaware State and Lehigh. JMU only dropped one set during the event. Senior right-side hitter Lindsay Callahan was the tournament MVP, and was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Week on Monday.
James Madison, chosen to finish sixth in the CAA this year, has also posted wins over Big South member UNC Asheville (3-0) as well as Davidson (3-0) and Kent State (3-2). The team's losses came to Murray State (0-3) and Cincinnati (0-3).
Danielle Erb leads the team with 111 kills on the year, while Jessica Zeroual paces the team with 24 blocks. Setter Megan Wiechmann has notched 163 assists and Holly Wall leads the squad with 109 digs.
The Lady Flames are 9-19 all-time against James Madison, and have been victorious in only three of the last 10 meetings. Liberty won the last face-off between the two teams, 3-1, in Harrisonburg, Va., on Sept. 9, 2008. In that meeting, Karyl Bacon tallied 10 kills and 11 digs, while Kelly Haseman added nine digs during the contest. The last time Liberty defeated the Dukes in the Vines Center was on Sept. 16, 2003 (3-1).