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Volleyball Wraps Up Regular Season Against UNC Asheville, Gardner-Webb
Complete Match Notes
Liberty volleyball concludes its 2012 regular-season schedule with a pair of home matches. The Lady Flames host UNC Asheville on Friday at 7 p.m. before facing Gardner-Webb on Saturday at noon. The team will honor its four seniors: Lauren Bosché, Erica Manor, Kendle Rollins and Loren Thomas, prior to Saturday's match.
Liberty (20-7, 10-2 Big South) clinched at least a share of its conference-record sixth straight Big South regular-season championship and sixth 20-win season in a row this past weekend. UNC Asheville (11-17, 7-5) has won five out of its last six matches, while Gardner-Webb (9-20, 4-8) is 2-7 in its last nine contests.
Liberty at a Glance
Liberty won, 3-2, at High Point last Friday, behind a career-high 26 kills from Caroline Douglas. Four Lady Flames reached double figures in kills at High Point. The Lady Flames then swept Campbell on Saturday, getting double-digit dig totals from five players.
Douglas was named the Big South Freshman of the Week on Monday, her third Freshman of the Week honor this season.
How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats and live video will be available for both of this weekend's matches. Live stats are courtesy of Liberty's athletics communications office. Fans can view both contests via 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 can claim the Big South regular-season title outright with one win this weekend.
- The Lady Flames have won 20 or more matches for six straight seasons.
- Liberty is currently on a five-match winning streak overall.
- Caroline Douglas sent down a career-high 26 kills at High Point, Friday.
- Douglas was named Big South Freshman of the Week on Monday.
- Liberty has won 12 straight home matches and 19 conference home contests in a row.
- The Lady Flames are 12-1 in Friday matches this season, winning 12 straight.
- Caroline Douglas leads the Big South in kills; Loren Thomas is first in hitting percentage.
- Liberty leads all-time series over UNC Asheville, 32-19, leads G-W, 13-1.
Douglas Named Big South Freshman of the Week
Redshirt freshman outside hitter Caroline Douglas was named Big South Freshman of the Week for the third time on Monday. She averaged 4.62 kills per set during a pair of road victories over High Point and Campbell. On Friday at High Point, she recorded a career-high 26 kills in a 3-2 Lady Flames win.
During Liberty's 3-0 sweep of Campbell, Saturday, Douglas registered 11 kills for her 22nd double-digit kill match this season. She leads the Big South in kills per set both overall (3.58 kps) and in conference play (4.02 kps).
Loren Thomas, with 451 career blocks, is two blocks away from passing Liberty legend Anthonia Akpama (1996-99) into second place in program history and seventh in Big South history.
Kendle Rollins is ranked eighth in Liberty history with 294 career blocks, and needs six more blocks to become the eighth Liberty player to post 300 career blocks.
Over the span of its current five-match winning streak, Liberty is hitting .263 as a team, averaging 14.58 kills, 2.53 blocks and 16.53 digs per set.
During that time, Lillie Happel (4.21 kps) and Caroline Douglas (4.16 kps) lead the team in kills, and Jade Craycraft averages 11.16 assists per set. Kendle Rollins, Craycraft and Loren Thomas all have recorded over one block per set over the last five matches.
The Lady Flames have had a balanced effort in the back row in their last five contests, as six different Liberty players (Craycraft, Happel, Gabrielle Shipe, Allie Reynolds, Becca Haraf and Ansley Gebben) have at least one 10-dig match during that time.
Liberty will honor its four fourth-year players with a senior day ceremony prior to their match against Gardner-Webb on Saturday. The class has helped the Lady Flames to an 85-43 record during their careers, including 49-9 in Big South play.
All four seniors helped the Lady Flames capture their sixth Big South postseason championship, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
These four players have helped the team to four straight 20-win seasons and four straight Big South regular season championships.
1 Kendle Rollins R-Jr. MB Lebanon, Ohio/Lebanon
- Ranks No. 8 in program history with 294 career blocks.
- During rally-scoring era, holds third and fourth best single-season block totals at Liberty.
- Hit .538 overall (22K-1E-39TA) during the 2011 Big South Volleyball Championship.
- Majoring in elementary education.
6 Lauren Bosché R-Jr. S Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring
- Posted a career-high 13 assists against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sept. 7.
- Set then career highs in kills, assists and blocks versus CSU, Oct. 2, 2010.
- Has scored a point on all three career attack attempts (1.000).
- Majoring in graphic design.
21 Loren Thomas Sr. MB Ocoee, Fla./The First Academy
- Liberty's rally-scoring blocks leader (single-match, single-season and career).
- 2011 Big South Tournament MVP; 2012 Big South Preseason Player of the Year.
- Two-time All-Big South team, including first team in 2011; 2009 Big South All-Freshman.
- Majoring in psychology.
23 Erica Manor R-Jr. RS/OH Bunker Hill, W.Va./Musselman
- Made 19 starts as a redshirt freshman in 2010, finishing third on team in aces.
- Recorded 14 kills during her collegiate debut against Cleveland State (Aug. 27, 2010).
- Posted a career-high three solo blocks on Oct. 14, 2011 versus Coastal Carolina.
- Majoring in health promotion.
Out in Style
The Lady Flames have sent their seniors out in style recently, winning their last six regular-season home finales in a row, and nine out of the last 10. Since 1995, Liberty is 15-2 during its final regular-season home match of the season.
Liberty has won its final match prior to the Big South Volleyball Championship during each of the last 15 seasons, dating back to 1997. Liberty has claimed victory in five sets in the team's last three regular-season finales. The Lady Flames beat Charleston Southern, 3-2, Nov. 14, 2009 in Charleston, and then downed UNC Asheville, 3-2, Nov. 13, 2010 at home before winning at UNC Asheville, 3-2, Nov. 12, 2011.
Scouting UNC Asheville
UNC Asheville (11-17) is 7-5 in Big South play, having won five out of its last six matches. The Bulldogs went 5-2 in conference home matches this season. On Monday, outside hitter Holly Shelton was named Big South Player of the Week, and libero Rachel Wells was tabbed Big South Defensive Player of the Week. Shelton ranks fourth in the Big South with 3.05 kills per set, while Anna Moore is eighth with 2.70 kills per set and sixth with 0.98 blocks per set. Freshman setter Katie Davis averages 9.25 assists.
Second-year head coach Frederico Santos is 26-31 at UNC Asheville following three seasons during which he led Barry to a 46-31 record.
Liberty leads UNC Asheville, 32-19, in the all-time series, including 12-9 under Pinder. The Lady Flames had won five straight matches in the series until the Bulldogs downed Liberty, 3-2, on Sept. 29 at the Justice Center. Each of the last two regular-season meetings between Liberty and UNC Asheville has gone five sets.
Shelton led all players with 20 kills against Liberty on Sept. 29. Liberty's Caroline Douglas had 17 kills, while Lillie Happel and Loren Thomas scored 10 kills apiece.
Gardner-Webb (8-20, 4-8) opened Big South play at 2-1, but has gone 2-7 since then, leaving the Runnin' Bulldogs in a three-way tie for seventh in the conference. Gardner-Webb's Tyler Cockrell ranks in the top 10 in the confrence in kills (10th), blocks (9th) and attack percentage (7th). Heather Feldman ranks fourth in the Big South with 9.20 assists per set, while Anna Pashkova is sixth in the conference with 3.85 digs per set.
Second-year head coach Leo Sayles holds a 19-40 record at Gardner-Webb after going 153-111 during seven years at Bryan College.
Liberty leads the all-time series over the Runnin' Bulldogs, 13-1, winning the first 11 meetings before a 3-0 Gardner-Webb victory on Nov. 11, 2011 in Boiling Springs, N.C. During each of Gardner-Webb's first four seasons in the Big South, Liberty defeated Gardner-Webb in the opening round of the Big South Volleyball Championship. The Runnin' Bulldogs have yet to win a match inside the Vines Center.
The Lady Flames swept Gardner-Webb, 3-0, on Sept. 28, outhitting the Runnin' Bulldogs, .376-.236. Caroline Douglas sent down a match-high 17 kills, hitting .571.
Liberty's Record at Home
Liberty has gone 24-1 in its last 25 home matches, and 44-6 in its most recent 50 home contests. The Lady Flames are 69-23 under ninth-year head coach Shane Pinder.
Liberty also holds three extended home winning streaks at present, winning 12 straight home matches overall, 20 straight home sets, and 19 conference home contests in a row.