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Lady Flames to Host Campbell, High Point This Weekend
Complete Match Notes
Liberty volleyball has finished its regular-season non-conference matches for 2012, and will play each of its final 11 contests against Big South opponents. The Lady Flames host Campbell on Friday night at 7 p.m., before facing High Point at 1 p.m. on Saturday, with both contests held inside the Vines Center.
Liberty (12-6, 2-1 Big South) and High Point (13-6, 2-1) are two of four Big South teams tied for second place with 2-1 conference records, while Campbell (7-13, 0-3) is in search of its first conference win. Coastal Carolina leads by a half-match, at 3-1.
Liberty at a Glance
The Lady Flames capped a four-match winning streak with a sweep at Gardner-Webb last Friday. Since then, Liberty has dropped its last two matches, 3-2 at UNC Asheville on Saturday, and 3-0 at VCU on Wednesday.
Despite a 7-6 advantage in blocks over the sixth-ranked blocking team in the nation, Liberty fell in three sets to VCU, Wednesday in Richmond, Va.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for both of this weekend's matches, courtesy of Liberty's athletics communications office. Fans can view Friday's match between Liberty and Campbell through live video streaming, for a small charge, through the Big South Network, with Ray Jones on play-by-play and Erin McKeown as the color analyst.
- Liberty concluded non-conference play on Wednesday at VCU (L, 0-3).
- Liberty out-blocked VCU, 7-6 (VCU entered match ranked No. 6 in NCAA Div. 1 in blocks).
- The Lady Flames went 10-5 against non-conference opponents this season.
- Caroline Douglas was named Big South Freshman of the Week, Monday.
- Liberty is one of five Big South teams with two conference wins so far in 2012.
- Sophomore Gabrielle Shipe collected her 500th career dig on Wednesday at VCU.
- Kendle Rollins, at 255, is four blocks from entering Liberty's top 10 for career blocks.
- The Lady Flames lead the Big South in hitting percentage and service aces.
- Liberty was voted first in Big South Preseason coaches' poll. (HPU - 5th; Campbell - 7).
- Loren Thomas was named Big South Preseason Player of the Year.
- Liberty leads all-time series over Campbell, 10-3, is 26-7 all-time against High Point.
Douglas Named Big South Player of the Week
Caroline Douglas was named Big South Freshman of the Week on Monday, her second Freshman of the Week honor this year, also earning the award on Aug. 27.
Douglas led the Lady Flames to a 2-1 week, posting 17 kills each in 3-0 sweeps of James Madison and Gardner-Webb, along with a 3-2 setback at UNC Asheville.
Douglas, who has reached double figures in kills during each of the last nine matches, is the first Lady Flame since Karyl Bacon in 2010 with three straight 15+ kill matches.
The Lady Flames picked up their blocking game on Saturday night at UNC Asheville, with 11 team blocks, good for the team's sixth 10-block match this season. Liberty then outblocked VCU, 7-6, on Wednesday, after the Rams entered the match ranked No. 6 nationally in blocks.
Block Party (x2)
Kendle Rollins has posted five blocks during each of the Lady Flames' last two matches, and she averages 1.4 blocks per set over the last seven matches. Rollins has registered 255 career blocks, and is four blocks away from 10th place in Liberty history, which is currently held by Janell Migeot (2002-05).
Senior Loren Thomas ranks third in program history and 10th all-time in the Big South, with 415 blocks. She has posted 64 solo blocks, which is second at Liberty during the rally-scoring era. Current assistant coach Jennifer Vaden leads, with 65 career solo blocks.
Sophomore libero Gabrielle Shipe led the Lady Flames with 10 digs on Wednesday at VCU, collecting her 500th career dig in the process. She is the third active Lady Flame to reach 500 career digs. Lillie Happel has posted 641 digs, while Jade Craycraft has registered 532 career digs.
Five Lady Flames posted a 10-dig match last week. Ansley Gebben totaled a team season-high 23 digs on Tuesday, and Gabrielle Shipe had 16 digs vs. James Madison and 17 at UNC Asheville. Jade Craycraft had 10 digs against JMU, while Lillie Happel had 13 digs at UNC Asheville and Allie Reynolds had a career-high 14 digs at UNC Asheville.
Down the to Wire
During Liberty's last meeting against Campbell, Nov. 4, 2011, the Lady Flames pulled out a 3-2 win. Lillie Happel came through with six of her team-high 13 kills during set five. The Lady Flames went 6-0 against Big South teams in five-set matches last season, extending their winning streak in five-set contests versus conference foes to 15.
Last Saturday, UNC Asheville posted a 3-2 victory over Liberty, becoming the first Big South team to win in five sets against the Lady Flames since Presbyterian College did so on Nov. 8, 2008 in Clinton, S.C.
Leading the Pack
At present, the Lady Flames sit atop the Big South statistical charts in both hitting percentage (.246) and aces per set (1.64). Liberty's aces rank 11th in the latest NCAA Division I national statistics listings.
Caroline Douglas paces the Big South in kills per set (3.40) and is fourth in attack percentage (.300). Teammate Loren Thomas is second in the league with a .328 hitting percentage, while Gabrielle Shipe is third with 3.73 digs per set.
Liberty vs. Campbell
All-Time Series: Liberty leads, 10-3
Current Series Streak: Liberty W5
Last Meeting: Liberty 3, Campbell 2 (Nov. 4, 2011 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Campbell brings a 7-13 record, including an 0-3 Big South mark, into this weekend's matches. The Camels dropped a tight, 3-2 match to Coastal Carolina in their most recent contest. Campbell's Lindsey Coats paces the Big South with a .332 hitting percentage. Coats and libero Mallorie Cubillos were both named Big South Defensive Player of the Week once this year. Freshman Sam Zuber is third in the league with 0.42 aces per set.
Fifth-year head coach Leigh Mullins is 54-86 at the helm of Campbell, and 99-169 in nine seasons as a Division I head coach. She previously coached at Northwestern State.
The Lady Flames hold a 10-3 all-time record against Campbell, including 5-1 as Big South opponents. Liberty has won each of the last five meetings between the two teams. Campbell's last win over Liberty came Oct. 7, 1997 in Buies Creek, N.C.
Last season, Liberty went 2-0 against Campbell. On Oct. 8 in Buies Creek, Liberty posted a 3-0 victory over Campbell, a match in which Kelly Haseman broke the Lady Flames' career digs record. The Lady Flames then posted a thrilling, 3-2 win over Campbell, on Nov. 4 at Liberty Christian Academy, after trailing 14-13 in the fifth set.
Liberty vs. High Point
All-Time Series: Liberty leads, 26-7
Current Series Streak: Liberty W1
Last Meeting: Liberty 3, High Point 0 (Nov. 5, 2011 - Lynchburg, Va.)
High Point (13-6, 2-1 Big South) holds wins over ACC opponents Wake Forest and Virginia Tech this season. The Panthers are 5-1 in five-set matches this year. High Point ranks in the top two in the Big South in every statistical category, except aces. Courtney Johnk is second in the Big South with 3.20 kills per set, followed by Kristin Heldt, who ranks sixth at 2.66 kills per set. Maddie Simpson ranks second in the league with 9.50 assists per set, and Jamie McDonald is second with 1.08 blocks per set.
Jason Oliver, in his fourth season at High Point, has a 61-57 career record. He led the Panthers to the 2010 Big South championship, and an NCAA Tournament appearance.
Liberty leads High Point, 26-7, in the all-time series, including 10-7 under Pinder and 4-3 when Pinder's Lady Flames meet Oliver's Panthers. High Point claimed the Big South title in 2010 with a win over Liberty.
Liberty and High Point split the season series last year, with the Panthers sweeping the Lady Flames on Oct. 7 at the Millis Center and Liberty returning the favor on Senior Day inside the Vines Center, Nov. 5.
Home Sweet Home
Opponents face a tough task when entering the Vines Center, as Liberty volleyball has gone 50-8 (.862) at home since the start of the 2007 season. In total, the Lady Flames are 65-23 in home matches under ninth-year head coach Shane Pinder.
Liberty is currently on an eight-match home winning streak, with its last loss in the Vines Center taking place on Oct. 11, 2011 against VCU. The Lady Flames have also won 15 straight home matches over Big South opponents, dating to Oct. 2, 2010.