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Lady Flames Continue Conference Play in High Point
Coming off of a 2-0 weekend, defeating Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian College on the road, the Lady Flames will continue Big South Conference play tonight, taking on the Panthers of High Point in High Point, N.C. The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Millis Center.
Liberty, High Point and UNC Asheville are the only three teams in the Big South with undefeated conference records thus far.
Tonight's match marks High Point's first conference match on its home court in 2010.
Keeping Up with the Lady Flames
Tonight's match will be available to view on the Big South Network for a small fee. To access, click the links at the top of this page, or find the same link on the Schedule/Results page. In addition, live stats will be provided by the High Point Athletics Communications office. Live stats can also be accessed by clicking the link at the top of this page, or by clicking the same link on the Schedule/Results page.
Liberty at a Glance
The Lady Flames are 11-6 overall, and 2-0 in Big South Conference play.
Currently, Liberty is outperforming its opponents in multiple categories. The Lady Flames are outhitting their counterparts, 811 kills to 724, and are posting a .220 attack percentage while holding their opponents to .180.
Spearheaded by freshman setter Jade Craycraft, Liberty is edging its opponents in assists, 746-675. In addition, behind the efforts of junior libero Kelly Haseman, the Lady Flames are also leading their opponents in digs, 904-880.
Liberty is now riding a two-match winning streak after holding off Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian College during the weekend.
On the Road Again…
Tonight's match wraps up Liberty's string of 17 of its first 18 matches being away from home. Starting Friday, the Lady Flames will play seven of their next eight matches at the Vines Center.
Fantastic in Five
By defeating Presbyterian, 3-2, on Saturday night, the Lady Flames picked up their first five-set win of 2010. Liberty dropped earlier five-setters to Cleveland State and UC Irvine.
The Lady Flames typically perform well in five-set conference matches, as they have now won five straight five-set matches against Big South opponents.
Heading Toward a Milestone
Senior outside hitter Karyl Bacon currently sits at 921 career kills and 1,307 career digs, and she needs 79 more kills to become the ninth player in Liberty history to be a member of the 1,000/1,000 club with more than 1,000 career digs and kills. Bacon recorded a career-high 23 kills against West Virginia on Sept. 17 in Fullerton, Calif. In addition, her 262 kills in 2010 are already a career-high for one season.
Bacon is also among the Big South leaders, as she ranks second with 10 double-doubles and 4.16 kills per set.
Haseman's a Head Honcho
Kelly Haseman, who was ranked 12th nationally last week with 5.53 digs per set, recorded 30-plus digs in three straight matches (Sept. 14-17 vs. James Madison, UC Irvine and West Virginia), making her the first Lady Flame in history to accomplish the feat. She is also the second player in program history to post 30 or more digs in three matches in a single season, following Theresa Bream, who recorded five 30-plus dig matches during the 1990 season.
Tuesday's matchup against High Point will feature two members of the 2009 Big South All-Freshman Team: Liberty's Loren Thomas and High Point's outside hitter Courtney Johnk. This year, Thomas leads the Lady Flames with 10 solo blocks, and also tallies 113 total kills and a .266 attack percentage. Johnk has played in 52 sets for the Panthers, recording 87 kills, 15 digs and six solo blocks.
The Lady Flames have recorded four matches with double-digit aces this season, highlighted by 12 aces in matches against Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian College over the weekend. The last time Liberty notched 12 team service aces in a match was in a 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb on Nov. 21, 2008, in the first round of the Big South Conference Championships in Asheville, N.C. Liberty only had three double-digit ace performances in the entire 2009 season.
Karyl Bacon has been named to all four all-tournament teams this season, making the mark at the ECU Classic, the UVA Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup, the Elon Phoenix Classic and most recently, the Cal State Fullerton Classic. Jade Craycraft was also a recipient of the honor at the ECU Classic and the UVA Jefferson Cup, while Lillie Happel picked up her first collegiate award as an all-tournament honoree at the Elon Phoenix Classic.
Pacing the Big South
The Lady Flames are leading the Big South with an 11-6 overall record, and are one of three Big South teams with an overall winning record. Additionally, the Lady Flames and the Panthers of High Point are the only two Big South teams currently undefeated in conference play (both are 2-0).
As a team, the Lady Flames lead the conference in kills (811), assists (746) and service aces (107). Liberty ranks second with a .220 attack percentage, behind UNC Asheville (.229).
Individually, Kelly Haseman leads all Big South players with 5.27 digs per set, while Jade Craycraft ranks first with 0.43 service aces per set and third with 9.70 assists per set. Craycraft remains the only Big South freshman to rank in the top five in two different statistical categories.
Other notable Lady Flames are Loren Thomas (No. 6 with a .266 attack percentage), Erica Manor (No. 3 with 0.40 aces per set) and Lillie Happel (seventh with 0.32 aces per set).
Scouting the Competition
High Point (7-9, 2-0 Big South)
The Panthers are the only team other than the Lady Flames to have a perfect 2-0 record in conference play. High Point is currently on a four-match winning streak, after defeating Big South opponents Winthrop (3-2) and Charleston Southern (3-1) over the weekend. Prior to that, the Panthers won two consecutive five-set matches over Davidson and Eastern Michigan.
Setter Maddie Simpson was named the Big South Freshman of the Week Monday, after posting 113 assists over the weekend. She leads the squad with 579 assists on the year, while senior outside hitter Megan Smith leads the team with 247 kills.
In addition, senior libero Julie Hershkowitz became the third player in Big South history to record 2,000 career digs, reaching the milestone against Winthrop on Sept. 24.
The Lady Flames hold a 23-5 all-time record against the Panthers. Last season, the two teams split regular-season contests, with High Point defeating Liberty at home, 3-1, on Oct. 13, before Liberty rebounded with a 3-0 sweep at the Vines Center on Nov. 10.