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Lady Flames Return South to Face Coastal Carolina
Live Stats – Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina
Live Video – Liberty vs. Coastal Carolina
After a road swing to Charleston Southern and Winthrop last weekend, the Lady Flames will head south again this weekend, as they will face Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 2 p.m., in Conway, S.C.
Liberty had a challenging trip to the Palmetto State last week, defeating Charleston Southern in five sets on Friday night before being swept by Winthrop, 3-0, Saturday afternoon.
Despite the loss to the Eagles, the Lady Flames still hold the No. 1 spot in the Big South Conference standings. After the contest against the Chanticleers, only two regular-season matches will remain.
Keeping Up with the Lady Flames
Saturday'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 for the match will be provided by the Coastal Carolina 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 20-8 overall, and 11-2 in Big South Conference play. Both conference losses this season have come to Winthrop, which currently sits in the No. 4 slot in the conference standings.
Liberty has consistently outperformed its opponents this season, as the Lady Flames have amassed 1,365 kills (opponents: 1,153), 1,260 assists (opponents: 1,079), 180 aces (opponents: 85), 1,472 digs (opponents: 1,407) and 210.5 total blocks (opponents: 170).
Prior to Saturday's setback, Liberty was on an eight-match winning streak, the team's longest of the season. It was also the most extensive streak since the 2008 season, when the squad started the year 8-0.
Chasing those Chanticleers
Liberty defeated Coastal Carolina at the Vines Center on Oct. 9 by a score of 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-21, 25-20). The match was one of three contests this season in which the Lady Flames have dropped the opening set, but have come back to win the match in four. Liberty did the same against North Florida on Sept. 4 and against UNC Asheville on Oct. 16.
After Friday's win over Charleston Southern, Liberty became the fourth squad in program history to win 11 out of its first 12 conference matches of the season. If the Lady Flames continue their winning ways and claim the last three victories of the regular season (over Coastal Carolina, Radford and UNC Asheville), they will become the first Liberty squad to post 14 conference wins. That would also tie the 2001 Radford Highlanders and the 2005 and 2006 Winthrop Eagles for the most conference wins in Big South history.
Liberty has won 20 or more matches overall for the last four years, and 2010 marks only the second time program history that Liberty has won 20 matches for four straight seasons.
Big Numbers against the Bucs
In the 3-2 win over Charleston Southern Friday night, several Lady Flames hit some interesting season milestones. Setter Jade Craycraft notched her 1,000th assist, libero Kelly Haseman hit her 500th dig, Karyl Bacon tallied her 400th kill and Kendle Rollins posted her 100th block.
In addition, defensive specialist Courtney Cooper tied a career high with 15 digs against the Bucs. She originally posted the feat on Sept. 20, 2009, against Elon.
Rollins Racking Up
Despite the 3-0 setback to Winthrop, Kendle Rollins tallied a career-high 16 kills during the match. She also posted the most attempts of her rookie campaign against the Eagles with 33, and hit her second-highest of the year with a .538 attack percentage.
Rollins, who nabbed her first-ever Big South honor last week by being named the Defensive Player of the Week, has jumped for five or more blocks in five out of the last seven contests, and has accounted for 12 or more Liberty points in the last seven straight matches. In addition, the middle blocker has hit over .300 nine out of the last 10 matches.
With 102 blocks this year, she's tied for fifth in program history under the rally scoring format.
Kelly Keeps Cruising
Libero Kelly Haseman notched another career milestone over the weekend, becoming the first player in Liberty history to post two 500+ dig seasons. Haseman has ranked as high as 12th nationally in digs per set, and currently sits at No. 40. Her effort this season has resulted in 514 digs, which lists her in the fifth-place spot in Liberty program history on the single-season top five list. She needs 11 more digs to move into No. 4, and 47 to beat her own No. 2 performance of 560 digs during the 2009 campaign.
Haseman already made history this season when she 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.
Karyl Bacon, Lillie Happel and Jade Craycraft are the team leaders in double-doubles this season. Bacon ranks third in the Big South with 14, while Happel is tied for 10th with five and Craycraft ranks 12th with three double-doubles on the year. Bacon's last double-double came on Oct. 29 against Charleston Southern, as the senior racked up 18 kills and a season-high 24 digs. Happel also picked up a double-double that day, adding 10 kills and tying a career-high with 14 digs. Craycraft's most recent double-double performance took place on Oct. 16 at UNC Asheville, when the freshman setter tallied a career-high 57 assists and 10 digs.
Still Serving Strong
Liberty has been dominant at the service line this year, and the squad currently leads the Big South and ranks No. 16 in the nation, averaging 1.76 aces per set. Lillie Happel leads the Big South and is No. 35 nationally with 0.40 aces per set, while Jade Craycraft and Erica Manor are ranked No. 5 and 6, respectively, among conference players, each tallying 0.34 aces per set.
The Lady Flames have recorded double digits in service aces in six matches this year, including a season-high 18 against Gardner-Webb on Oct. 23. Happel accounted for six of those aces, a career-high for the freshman, marking the most aces by a Lady Flame since Kallie Corbin posted nine against Navy on Sept. 15, 2006.
The 18 aces marks the most aces recorded by a Liberty squad since Sept. 13, 2002, when the Lady Flames blasted 21 aces in a 3-0 sweep over Delaware State at the Vines Center.
Bacon is Bangin'
Senior Karyl Bacon is enjoying a stellar senior season, as she ranks in the top 50 nationally in two different categories. The outside hitter is No. 32 with 4.07 kills per set, and No. 46 with 4.47 points per set. Bacon also made Liberty history this season, becoming the ninth player in the program to record 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs, as she now sits at 1,074 kills and 1,421 digs.
Prior to Bacon, the most recent player to join the elite 1,000/1,000 Club was Jessica Nelson, who played for Liberty from 2004-2008. She ended her career with 1,089 kills and 1,178 digs. Before Nelson, current assistant coach Jennifer (Belk) Vaden accomplished the feat, recording 1,789 kills and 1,594 digs in her career (2001-04).
Bacon needs just 58 more digs to move into the Liberty career top five list.
In addition, Bacon is one of two Big South players to record a 20-kill, 20-dig match this sesason, as she did so against UC Irvine on Sept. 16.
A Solid Attack
The Lady Flames have hit above .300 in nine matches this season, and have been victorious in each contest doing so. Also, Liberty has posted a .400 or better attack percentage once, in a 3-0 sweep over Charleston Southern on Oct. 2.
Five Lady Flames have posted seven or more kills in the same match on five different occasions this year, most recently against High Point on Oct. 19. Liberty was victorious in all five of those contests.
As a team, the Lady Flames have recorded 40 or more kills in nine of the last 10 matches, including a season-high 70 against Winthrop on Oct. 1.
Loren Thomas and Kendle Rollins both rank in the top five in the conference in hitting percentage. Thomas ranks No. 3 with a .315 attack percentage, while Rollins is fifth with .307. Hannah Anderson is ninth, sitting at .249 on the year.
The Lady Flames are performing well compared to other NCAA Division I programs, ranking No. 66 with 13.38 kills per set.
Liberty has jumped for double digits in blocks in nine matches this season, including four in a row from Oct. 9 to Oct. 22. The Lady Flames lead the Big South in the category, averaging 2.06 blocks per set. Middle blocker Kendle Rollins ranks third in the conference, averaging 1.00 blocks per set.
Craycraft Cracks Down
Freshman setter Jade Craycraft ranks No. 3 in the Big South, averaging 10.18 assists per set, as Liberty leads all conference teams with 12.35 assists per set. Craycraft also ranks third in assists in conference-only matches, averaging 10.62 assists per set.
In the nation, the Wooster, Ohio native is No. 82 in assists per set.
Excellent in Even Sets
The Lady Flames have fared well in even-numbered sets this season, winning Set 2 in 22 out of 28 matches this year, and taking Set 4 in 11 out of 14 matches. Liberty is 18-4 when winning the second set, and 10-1 when taking set 4.
Fantastic in Five
By defeating Charleston Southern, 3-2, on Friday night, the Lady Flames picked up their second five-set win of the season. Liberty earlier won a 3-2 match over Presbyterian College on the road on Oct. 22. The Lady Flames dropped previous five-setters to Cleveland State and UC Irvine.
Liberty typically performs well in five-set conference matches, as the team has now won six straight five-set matches against Big South opponents.
Scouting Coastal Carolina
The Chanticleers (14-14, 7-6 Big South) were the top preseason pick in the annual coaches poll this year, and the Lady Flames took a 3-1 decision on Oct. 9 in the Vines Center. In that match, Kendle Rollins led the team with 13 kills and six blocks, while Loren Thomas recorded seven kills and a .385 attack percentage. Preseason Big South Player of the Year Chelsy Kimes pounded 14 kills for Coastal Carolina, but as a team, the Chanticleers only mustered a .130 hitting percentage.
Coastal Carolina has struggled lately, losing two of the last three matches in 3-0 sweeps. However, both losses came on the road, as the Chanticleers have only dropped one conference contest in their home arena this season, falling to High Point, 3-1, on Oct. 15.
Kimes leads the team with 397 kills on the year, and, like Karyl Bacon, has recorded five 20-kill matches this season. Lindsay Gill ranks second in the Big South with eight 20-dig matches, while Kelsie Mauck is one of two conference players who have posted a triple-double. Kimes also ranks second in the Big South with 15 double-doubles on the year.
The Lady Flames are 28-17 all-time against the Chanticleers, and Coastal Carolina's most recent victory came 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 were 3-0 sweeps, and four of those wins came at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames have won four straight matches at Kimbel Arena.