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Lady Flames to Face Georgetown in Nation's Capital
Complete Match Notes
A nine-match road swing concludes for the Liberty volleyball team on Tuesday, when the Lady Flames travel to the nation's capital to meet Georgetown of the BIG EAST at 7 p.m. The Lady Flames have gone 5-3 over their last eight matches, all away from the Vines Center, while Georgetown will play its first home match of the season on Tuesday.
Both Liberty and Georgetown will look to end winless streaks on Tuesday. The Hoyas started the campaign at 6-1, but have dropped each of their last five contests. The Lady Flames got off to an 8-1 start, before losing three in a row.
Liberty at a Glance
The Lady Flames (8-4) competed in the Marriott Cavalier Classic this past weekend, taking on Virginia Tech and Virginia of the ACC on Saturday. Liberty fell to the Hokies, 3-1, before sustaining a 3-2 setback against the host Cavaliers.
Liberty posted 10.5 blocks versus Virginia Tech and 13 against Virginia, with Kendle Rollins totaling eight blocks against UVA. Loren Thomas hit .611 against Virginia Tech, while Caroline Douglas had 14 kills in both matches.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats and live video streaming will be available for Tuesday night's match, through links on LibertyFlames.com. Live stats are courtesy of Georgetown Sports Information. Fans can watch through video streaming, for a small charge, on GUHoyas.com.
- Liberty (8-4) looks to end a three-match winless streak after starting 8-1 in 2012.
- The Lady Flames have posted 10+ blocks in three out of their last four matches.
- Liberty lost a pair of close matches on Saturday, 3-1 vs. Virginia Tech and 3-2 vs. Virginia.
- Against UVA, Gabrielle Shipe collected 22 digs to tie her career high.
- Loren Thomas ranks 10th all-time in Big South history with 403 career blocks.
- Becca Haraf had a career-high four aces versus Virginia, as Liberty served up 10 aces.
- The Lady Flames lead the Big South in hitting percentage and service aces.
- Caroline Douglas has the conference's top hitting percentage (.342).
- The team was voted to repeat as Big South champions in the preseason coaches poll.
- Loren Thomas was named the 2012 Big South Preseason Player of the Year.
- Georgetown leads all-time series, 2-1 (Liberty won most recent meeting, 3-1, 11/23/07).
Blocking the Competition
Liberty led the Big South in 2011 while averaging 2.44 blocks per set, and the team is making a strong case to defend its blocking title this season.
The Lady Flames have recorded 10 or more blocks in three out of the last four matches, including 10.5 against Virginia Tech and 13 versus Virginia on Saturday.
Loren Thomas paces the Lady Flames with 1.04 blocks per set, and on Saturday became the third player in program history with 400 career blocks.
Kendle Rollins recorded a career-high eight blocks against Virginia, while Ansley Gebben had five blocks versus Virginia Tech.
On Saturday against Virginia Tech, Loren Thomas hit .611 (14-3-18), the highest attack percentage by a Lady Flame with 12 or more kills in a match this season.
A total of four current Lady Flames have at least one .500 match in their careers.
Caroline Douglas opened her career by hitting .548 (19-2-31) on Aug. 24 against UNCG, and hit .538 (16-2-26) the next day versus Elon.
Last year, Kendle Rollins recorded a .727 attack percentage in a sweep of The Citadel, Sept. 17, 2011 while Melissa Racz hit .500, Nov. 5, 2011 as Liberty swept High Point.
Last Line of Defense
Sophomore Gabrielle Shipe has led or tied for the team lead in digs in all 12 matches. She tied her career high with 22 digs in Saturday's matchup with the Virginia Cavaliers, marking her 10th 10-dig match and third 20-dig contest this season.
Liberty has gotten strong contributions from several players in the back row this season, as Lillie Happel and Becca Haraf have five 10-dig matches apiece and Jade Craycraft and Ansley Gebben have three 10-dig matches each.
Acing the Test
Liberty served up 10 aces in its most recent match, a 3-2 setback at Virginia, its third 10-ace match this season. The Lady Flames pace the Big South Conference with 1.71 aces per set. Additionally, three Liberty players rank in the conference's top 10 in aces.
Kendle Rollins and Lillie Happel both have registered five aces in a match this season, while Becca Haraf served up a career-high four aces at Virginia on Saturday.
Balance Up Front
So far this season, three Lady Flames average two or more kills per set. Caroline Douglas leads the team with 2.94 kills per set, followed by Ansley Gebben at 2.43 and Loren Thomas at 2.10.
Last year, Lillie Happel led the way with 3.38 kills per set, while Thomas, at 2.30, was the only other Lady Flame to average two or more kills per set. In 2010, four Lady Flames had a 2.0 or higher kills average.
Leading the Pack
At present, the Lady Flames sit atop the Big South statistical charts in both hitting percentage (.239) and aces per set (1.71). Liberty's aces per set rank 10th in the first NCAA Division I statistical listing.
Additionally, redshirt freshman Caroline Douglas is first in the conference with a .342 attack percentage. Douglas is the only conference freshman to rank in the top 10 in hitting percentage.
Liberty vs. Georgetown
All-Time Series: Georgetown leads, 2-1
Current Series Streak: Liberty W1
Last Meeting: Liberty 3, Georgetown 1 (Nov. 23, 2007 – at VCU) (regular-season finale)
Georgetown (6-6) raced out to a 6-1 record after seven matches, including a sweep of the D.C. Classic and a 3-0 win over Virginia. The Hoyas have lost five in a row, most recently losing to Presbyterian College of the Big South on Saturday. Alex Johnson leads Georgetown with 4.26 kills per set, followed by Dani White at 3.03 kills per set. Haley Lowrance averages 11.48 assists per set, good for second in the BIG EAST.
Georgetown is 2-1 all-time against the Lady Flames, sweeping the first two meetings in 1989 and 1990. Liberty won the most recent meeting on Nov. 23, 2007, downing the Hoyas 3-1 in the regular season-ending VCU Thanksgiving Tournament.
Arlisa Williams, Georgetown's seventh-year head coach, holds a 76-109 career record, but has gone an even 63-63 since the start of the 2008 season. Williams' Hoyas lost their only meeting against Liberty, Nov. 23, 2007 in Richmond, Va.
Liberty is 9-16 all-time against 2012 members of the BIG EAST, facing 11 of its 14 volleyball programs. Shane Pinder's teams are 2-6 vs. BIG EAST competition. Liberty's most recent win over a BIG EAST team came against Rutgers, Sept. 6, 2008 in Fairfax, Va.
The Last Meeting
Liberty set a program NCAA Division I record for victories, earning a 3-1 victory over Georgetown in the regular-season finale, Nov. 23, 2007 at the VCU Thanksgiving Tournament. With the win, the Big South champion Lady Flames advanced their record to 27-8 before facing No. 7 California in the NCAA Tournament one week later.
The Lady Flames hit .276 for the match and collected 102 digs, compared to 68 for the Hoyas. Three Lady Flames had double-doubles, in Kallie Corbin (58 assists, 24 digs), Jessica Nelson (19 kills, 26 digs) and Nicki Scripko (15 kills, 12 digs). Kortney Robinson led Georgetown with 14 kills.
For the second year in a row, and 16th time in program history, Liberty will play a match in Washington, D.C.
Last year, on Caroline Douglas' birthday, Aug. 31, the Lady Flames faced No. 16 Oregon at American University's Bender Arena. The Ducks defeated Liberty, 3-0, although the Lady Flames held a 7-2 edge in blocks thanks in part to Loren Thomas' five blocks.
Liberty's last win in Washington, D.C., was a 3-1 victory over Morgan State on Sept. 7, 2002 at the George Washington Invitational. Current Liberty assistant coaches Jennifer Vaden (13 kills, 21 digs) and Rebecca Rudnick (eight kills, four blocks) both had strong outings against Morgan State that day.