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Liberty to Host Radford in Conference Matchup Tonight

October 5, 2010
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Loren Thomas leads the Big South in attack percentage in conference matches, at .443.

Live Stats – Radford at Liberty
Live Video – Radford at Liberty

After going 2-1 last week, the Liberty Lady Flames are now atop the Big South standings with a 4-1 Big South record. They remain at the Vines Center this week, hosting Radford tonight and Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

Liberty swept the Panthers of High Point on the road on Tuesday, 3-0, before dropping a Friday night home contest to Winthrop, 3-1. The Lady Flames bounced back Saturday, sweeping Charleston Southern, 3-0.

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. The match will also be televised on the Liberty Channel.

In addition, live stats will be provided by the Liberty 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 13-7 overall, and 4-1 in Big South Conference play, after taking two out of three conference matches last week. Both wins (over High Point and Charleston Southern) were 3-0 sweeps, while the 3-1 loss to Winthrop was close throughout (26-28, 25-17, 26-28, 24-26).

Liberty defeated Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian College on the road the previous week to kick off 2010 Big South Conference play.

Honors for Bacon and Haseman
Karyl Bacon and Kelly Haseman each recorded their third Big South Conference weekly honors for matches played Sept. 28 – Oct. 3, as Bacon was named the Big South Conference Choice Hotels Player of the Week and Haseman picked up the Big South Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Haseman becomes the first player in Liberty history to win Defensive Player of the Week honors three times in one season.

Staying on Course
The Lady Flames are getting used to being back home, after competing in 17 out of the first 18 matches of the season on the road. The Lady Flames are now in the midst of playing seven out of eight matches at home, and are 2-1 at the Vines Center this year.

In addition, Liberty won its first three Big South matches on the road over Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian College and High Point.

Solid Big South Start… Again
2010 marks the fourth consecutive year that the Lady Flames have won at least four out of the first five conference matches of the season. Liberty started conference play with 5-0 records in 2009 and 2008, and posted a 4-1 record through the first five Big South matches in 2007.

That's Quite a Percentage…
The Lady Flames tallied a .406 attack percentage against Charleston Southern on Saturday, a season high for the squad. Liberty has hit over .300 five times so far in 2010.

The last time the Lady Flames recorded a .400 attack percentage was on Sept. 5, 2009, in a 3-0 victory over Howard at the Vines Center.

The last time Liberty recorded a .400 attack percentage against a conference team was Oct. 21, 2008 against the Highlanders of Radford, also at the Vines Center.

Friday night's 2010 home conference opener against Winthrop was eerily familiar to last year, as the Lady Flames also faced the Eagles in their first Big South match at home in 2009. Additionally, Friday night also marked the 2010 Liberty Athletics Hall of Fame banquet, which was also the case on the night of the Liberty-Winthrop match last year.

The Lady Flames defeated the visiting Lady Eagles in a cutthroat five-set match, 3-2, and the final set went all the way to 27-25 in 2009. This year, Liberty didn't fare as well, dropping a close 3-1 decision.

Fantastic in Five
By defeating Presbyterian College, 3-2, on Sept. 25, 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 971 career kills and 1,340 career digs, and she needs only 29 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 312 kills in 2010 are already a career-high for one season.

Bacon is also ranked No. 23 in the nation, averaging 4.27 kills per set.

Haseman's a Head Honcho
Kelly Haseman, who has ranked as high as 12th nationally in 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.

In the most recent rankings, Haseman is No. 23 in the country with 5.33 digs per set.

Stellar Serving
Liberty has been impressive at the service line, and the team ranks in the nation's top 50, averaging 1.6 aces per set (No. 42).

The Lady Flames have recorded four matches with double-digit aces this season, highlighted by 13 aces against Stetson and 12 aces in matches against Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian College. The last time Liberty notched 12 or more 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.

The Lady Flames are ranked 42rd in the nation as a team for most service aces.

All-Tournament Recognition
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.

Conference Play Heating Up
There are 10 conference matches scheduled this week. Other matches tonight include Coastal Carolina at Winthrop and UNC Asheville at Presbyterian College.

Friday, Charleston Southern will travel to UNC Asheville, while High Point hosts Gardner-Webb and the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College make the trek to Radford.

The week's action concludes Saturday with the Coastal-Liberty matchup, UNC Asheville vs. Winthrop, Gardner-Webb vs. Radford and Presbyterian College at High Point.

Pacing the Big South
The Lady Flames are leading the Big South with a 4-1 record in conference play, trailed by four teams with a 3-1 mark (Coastal Carolina, High Point, UNC Asheville and Winthrop).

As a team during Big South Conference play, the Lady Flames lead the league in hitting percentage (.286) and kills (263). Liberty ranks second in assists (13.50 per set) and aces (1.89 per set).

After three solid performances last week, Loren Thomas now leads all Big South players in conference play with a .443 attack percentage. Erica Manor is tied for first in the conference with 0.53 aces per set, and Jade Craycraft ranks in the top five in two different categories (3rd – 10.50 assists per set; 4th – 0.44 aces per set). In addition, Kendle Rollins is third in blocks, averaging 1.28 per set.

Overall, Kelly Haseman leads all conference players, averaging 5.33 digs per set.

Scouting the Competition
Radford (6-11, 0-3 Big South)
The Highlanders have struggled as of late, as they have lost their last four matches, only winning one set during the span. Radford's last win was a 3-0 decision over North Florida on Sept. 18.

The team is paced by Emily Carlin, who posts 138 kills, while Desiree Aramburu has recorded 456 assists this year. Five different players have surpassed the 100-dig mark, led by Storm Melnick with 178. Additionally, Kiley Kent leads the conference in aces (24).

The Lady Flames are 34-25 all-time against the Highlanders, winning the last 17 meetings. Liberty has also won the last 10 meetings between the two squads at the Vines Center. Radford was last victorious on Nov. 6, 2001, taking a 3-2 decision over the Lady Flames in Lynchburg. 11 days later, Liberty started its 17-match winning streak against the Highlanders with a 3-0 sweep in the Big South Championship match at the Vines Center.

Radford senior Laura Waddell will be playing her final match in her hometown tonight, as she is a graduate of E.C. Glass High School.

The Lady Flames have dominated most of the recent home matches against Radford, only dropping five sets in the last 10 matches played at the Vines Center.