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Douglas, Shipe Earn Big South Weekly Honors
Liberty redshirt freshman Caroline Douglas was named Big South Freshman of the Week and sophomore libero Gabrielle Shipe earned Big South Defensive Player of the Week honors, Monday. Douglas and Shipe helped the Lady Flames wrap up the Big South regular-season title outright with a pair of 3-0 sweeps over UNC Asheville and Gardner-Webb.
Douglas receives her fourth Freshman of the Week award this season, and second in as many weeks. Shipe was named Defensive Player of the Week for the third time this year on Monday, as she was previously honored on Sept. 4 and Oct. 15.
Douglas, a Greenville, N.C., native, finished the regular season as the Big South leader in kills per set, both overall (3.67) and in conference play (4.18). For this past week, she averaged 5.33 kills per set while hitting .400. On Friday night, she scored 19 kills in addition to two blocks. Her 19 kills were the most by a Big South player in a three-set match this season.
On Saturday against Gardner-Webb, Douglas recorded 13 kills, hitting .444 for the match. During the Lady Flames' current seven-match winning streak, she has averaged 4.44 kills per set.
An Orlando, Fla., product, Shipe averaged 5.17 digs per set during two 3-0 sweeps over UNC Asheville and Gardner-Webb. She recorded a match-high 15 digs against UNC Asheville, helping the Lady Flames outdig the Bulldogs, 54-39. On Saturday, Shipe collected 16 digs to lead Liberty to a 55-46 advantage in digs over Gardner-Webb.
For the season, Shipe has led the Lady Flames in digs 26 times, with 25 10-dig matches. During Liberty's current seven-match winning streak, Shipe averages 4.48 digs per set and the Lady Flames record 16.92 digs on average as a team.
The Lady Flames (22-7, 12-2 Big South) won their conference-record sixth straight Big South regular-season title, and will serve as the No. 1 seed for this week's Big South Volleyball Championship presented by Musco Sports Lighting. The conference tournament, held in Boiling Springs, N.C., opens on Thursday at noon with Liberty taking on No. 8 seed Charleston Southern in the quarterfinal round.