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Lady Flames Welcome Chants for Big South Contest
After picking up a 3-0 sweep over conference opponent Radford on Tuesday night, the Liberty Lady Flames will heat up the Vines Center again Saturday, hosting Coastal Carolina at noon. The contest will mark a rematch of the 2009 Big South Championship match.
Liberty is now on a two-match winning streak after previously sweeping the Lady Bucs of Charleston Southern, 3-0, Saturday afternoon.
Keeping Up with the Lady Flames
Live Stats will be available to view on LibertyFlames.com, courtesy of the Athletics Communications office. To access, click the link at the top of this page, or find the same link on the Schedule/Results page.
Liberty at a Glance
The Lady Flames are 14-7 overall, and 5-1 in Big South Conference play, putting them at the top of the league standings. Three out of Liberty's last four conference matches 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 3-1 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 gone 5-1 in the first six conference matches of the season.
That's Quite a Percentage…
The Lady Flames tallied a .406 attack percentage against Charleston Southern on Oct. 2, a season high for the squad. Liberty has hit over .300 seven times so far in 2010, most recently against Radford on Tuesday (.362).
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.
Liberty's Oct. 1, 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 984 career kills and 1,345 career digs, and she needs only 16 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 325 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.
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.
Most recently, sophomore Hannah Anderson recorded a career-high four aces against Radford on Tuesday night.
Also, as a team, the Lady Flames are out-acing their opponents, 124-60. In conference play, Liberty has recorded 41 aces, compared to 13 by its opponents.
They Work Quickly
The Lady Flames are 8-3 in three-set matches, and have won five out of seven contests that have gone to four sets. Liberty has struggled in longer matches, going 1-2 in five-setters. Additionally, the Lady Flames have picked up victories in 12 matches when they claimed the first set.
Stellar on Saturday
Liberty will look to win its eighth Saturday match of the year in the contest against Coastal, as the Lady Flames are 7-1 on Saturday this season.
Conference Play Heating Up
Other than the Liberty-Radford matchup, two other conference contests took place Tuesday night. Coastal Carolina dropped a 3-0 decision at Winthrop, while UNC Asheville overcame Presbyterian College, 3-1.
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 5-1 record in conference play, trailed by UNC Asheville and Winthrop, who are both 4-1. High Point is third with a 3-1 mark, followed by Coastal Carolina (3-2), Presbyterian College (1-3), Charleston Southern (1-4), Radford (0-4) and Gardner-Webb (0-4).
As a team , the Lady Flames lead the league in hitting percentage (.236) and kills (1,024). Liberty also leads in assists (12.38 per set) and service aces (1.63 per set).
After three solid performances last week, Loren Thomas now ranks second in the Big South in conference matches with a .422 attack percentage. Erica Manor is tied for first in the conference with 0.50 aces per set, and Jade Craycraft ranks in the top five in two different categories (4th – 10.38 assists per set; 4th – 0.43 aces per set). In addition, Kendle Rollins is fourth in blocks, averaging 1.19 per set.
Kelly Haseman leads all conference players, averaging 5.33 digs per set in Big South matches.
Scouting the Competition
Coastal Carolina (10-9, 3-2 Big South)
Coastal Carolina's three-match winning streak was snapped Tuesday, as the Chanticleers dropped a 3-0 decision to Winthrop on the road. Prior to that, the 2009 Big South Tournament champions defeated Gardner-Webb (3-0 on Oct. 1) and Presbyterian College (3-1 on Oct. 2), and started the streak with a 3-0 sweep over non-conference opponent UNC Wilmington on Sept. 28.
The Chanticleers have performed best in long matches, posting a 2-1 record in five-set contests. Meanwhile, the squad is 3-3 in four-set matches and 5-5 in three-setters.
The team is led by 2010 Big South Conference Preseason Player of the Year Chelsy Kimes, a senior outside hitter with 279 kills under her belt this season. Kimes also leads the team in aces (20) and ranks second in digs (205). Reigning Big South Freshman of the Week Meghan Laffin, a freshman middle blocker, follows with 127 kills and a .278 attack percentage during her rookie campaign.
The Lady Flames are 27-17 all-time against the Chanticleers, with Coastal Carolina claiming the most recent victory in last year's Big South Championship final. Liberty fell, 3-1, on Nov. 21, 2009. Prior to that match, the Lady Flames were victorious in eight consecutive meetings, beginning after Liberty dropped a 3-1 decision in the 2006 Big South Championship first round.
Five of those eight wins have come as 3-0 sweeps, and four of those wins came at the Vines Center.