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Lady Flames Sweep High Point, 3-0, on Senior Day

November 5, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty volleyball seniors (L-R): Kelly Haseman, Rebecca Warren, Courtney Cooper and Courtney Boggs.

Liberty avenged its lone Big South loss this season, sweeping High Point, 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-21) on Senior Day at the Vines Center.

The Lady Flames (16-11), winners of seven straight, maintain their lead in the Big South standings, at 11-1 in conference play. High Point falls to 6-20, 4-8 in Big South contests.

Liberty has now won 14 straight Big South home matches, including a 7-0 conference home mark in 2011.

High Point had beaten Liberty, 3-0, Oct. 7 in High Point, but Liberty reversed the story on Saturday.

The Lady Flames honored their four seniors prior to Saturday's match. The group, comprised of Courtney Boggs, Courtney Cooper, Kelly Haseman and Rebecca Warren, has posted an 86-43 record during their four seasons at Liberty.

The hosts hit .279 for the match in registering 47 kills, with five players posting eight or more kills. Liberty's hitting percentage on Saturday was its best in a Big South match this season. High Point connected at a .150 clip.

Haseman led all players with 21 digs, while fellow senior Boggs started and dished out 16 assists. Cooper recorded seven digs during her final home match.

Melissa Racz paced the Lady Flames, tying her career high with 12 kills while hitting an even .500. Erica Manor, Ansley Gebben, Lillie Happel and Loren Thomas registered eight kills apiece. Craycraft led the Lady Flames with 17 assists and added an ace.

Thomas posted three blocks, and she now holds the program single-season rally-scoring record with 131 blocks this season.

Kristin Heldt led the Panthers with 13 kills, while Lauren Bell paced all players with 32 kills. Molly Barlow registered 17 kills and Chelsea Davis collected 11 digs.

Liberty took control of set one early, building a 19-12 lead after 31 serves. Thomas reeled off five kills and two blocks during the Lady Flames' opening surge. The Panthers pulled to within five points, 23-18, but would get no closer. Gebben closed out the set with back-to-back kills to clinch the 25-18 set-one victory for the Lady Flames.

The Lady Flames hit .324 during the first set, scoring 14 kills, while High Point attacked at a .054 pace on the way to 12 kills. Thomas led all players with five kills and two blocks in the opening set, while Haseman collected seven digs.

Set two went back-and-forth throughout. The Lady Flames held a 14-12 lead after a Gebben kill, but High Point gained the lead at 18-15 with a 6-1 run that featured a pair of kills by Michelle Chakirelis.

With Liberty trailing, 20-17, Happel scored two kills, Craycraft served up an ace and Racz sent down a kill, as part of a 5-0 rally that gave the Lady Flames a 22-20 edge.

Heldt earned a kill to narrow the gap to one. Racz and Manor answered with kills to give Liberty set point at 24-21, and Racz clinched set two with a kill. Liberty took a 2-0 lead into intermission with a 25-22 win during set two.

During set two, Liberty sent down 17 kills, hitting .295, compared with a .216 attack percentage by the Panthers. Racz hit 6-for-11 in the second set, and Happel and Manor added four kills apiece. Heldt recorded six kills for High Point, and Chakirelis checked in with four kills.

Liberty broke open a tight third set with a 7-2 rally, taking a 17-12 lead. Gebben, Thomas Craycraft and Happel all contributed kills to Liberty's 7-2 run. Heldt scored a pair of kills in pulling the Panthers to within four, 20-16. Racz and Manor teamed up for a block, and then Racz earned a kill for a 22-16 advantage.

High Point drew to within three, 22-19, with a 3-0 run. The teams traded points for the remainder of the set, with Thomas tallying a kill for a 25-21 Lady Flames victory to seal the 3-0 sweep.

Liberty posted 16 kills in the final set, hitting .227, compared to 13 kills at .174 for High Point. Happel sent down a team-high four set-three kills, while Heldt had four kills as well. Haseman collected nine digs in the last session.

For the match, Liberty posted five blocks to High Point's two. High Point held a slim, 56-54, lead in digs, while both teams recorded two aces.

The Lady Flames will next compete at Gardner-Webb, Friday at 7 p.m., before finishing the regular season schedule with a 7 p.m. contest Saturday at UNC Asheville.