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Lady Flames Set to Compete at Campbell, Tuesday

October 31, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Set to Compete at Campbell, Tuesday

Complete Match Notes

Liberty volleyball (14-10, 9-3 Big South), winner of nine out of its last 10 matches, heads to Buies Creek, N.C., for its final regular-season away match, Tuesday. The Lady Flames will take on Campbell (12-14, 7-5) at 7 p.m. Liberty currently sits second in Big South standings, while the Camels are in fourth. The Camels have gone 4-1 since Liberty swept them, 3-0, on Oct. 10 at the Vines Center.

The Lady Flames hold a 17-5 all-time record against Campbell, including 12-3 as Big South opponents.  

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for Tuesday's match, courtesy of Campbell Athletic Communications. Additionally, the Liberty-Campbell match will be available for viewing, free of charge, on the Big South Network.

Starting Rotation
1.   The Lady Flames got back on the winning track, sweeping UNC Asheville on Saturday at the Vines Center. Liberty is 9-1 in its last 10 matches, vaulting into second place in the Big South in the process.

2.   Leah Clayton was named Big South Volleyball Freshman of the Week for the second week in a row and third time this season. She scored a career-high 25 kills versus Radford last Tuesday and had a career-high three aces on Saturday against UNC Asheville.

3.   Anna Willey passed Jule Sitler (1985-88) into eighth all-time at Liberty for career assists on Saturday, with 2,070 career assists.

4.   With 815 career digs, Margaret Latchford has collected the third-most digs by a Lady Flame in her first two seasons.

5.   Gabrielle Vess leads Liberty with 12 double-digit kill matches on the season. Vess has scored 10 or more kills in each of Liberty's last eight matches. Her streak of 10-kill matches is the longest by a Lady Flame since Hannah Weidner had 19 in a row in 2014.

6.   The Lady Flames have posted 10 or more blocks in a match 13 times this season. That is Liberty's most 10-block matches since registering 14 10-block contests during the 2006 season.

7.   Liberty's last visit to Gore Arena saw Liberty rally from a 6-1, set-five deficit to win the fifth set, 15-11 and claim the match on Oct. 9, 2015. Liberty's Margaret Latchford collected a program rally-scoring-record 38 digs in that match.

Clayton Named Big South Freshman of the Week
Leah Clayton was named Big South Freshman of the Week for the second week in a row, and third time this season, Monday. Anna Gragg has two Freshman of the Week honors (Sept. 19, Oct. 17), while Casey Goodwin received the award on Sept. 12.

Liberty's six Freshman of the Week honors this year set a new program record, and tie 2015 Winthrop, 2008 Gardner-Webb and 2003 High Point for the most Freshman of the Week honors for one Big South school in a single season.

10 Again
Gabrielle Vess leads the Lady Flames with 12 double-digit kill matches this season, including eight 10-kill matches in a row at present. Her string of 10-kill contests is Liberty's longest since Hannah Weidner scored 10 or more kills in 19 consecutive matches during her freshman season, 2014.

Four Straight
Leah Clayton recorded her fourth straight 20-kill match last Tuesday against Radford, scoring a career-high 25 kills to go with 18 digs for her ninth career double-double. Clayton's 25 kills are tied for the most ever by a Lady Flame in a four-set match under the current 25-point rally-scoring format (Lillie Happel vs. Seton Hall, Sept. 2, 2011).

Jennifer Belk (2001) is the only other true freshman in Liberty's rally-scoring history with a 25-kill match.

Digging In
Senior Michelle Melendez tied her career high with 22 digs at Charleston Southern, Oct. 15. Margaret Latchford collected a season-high 28 digs at Gardner-Webb, Oct. 22.

With 815 career digs, Margaret Latchford has already collected the third-most digs through two seasons in program history. Program record holder Kelly Haseman (2008-11) holds the record for most digs in her first two seasons at Liberty, with 867.

Blocking the Way
Liberty has posted four 15-block matches this season. The only other time in rally-scoring history that the Lady Flames recorded four 15-block matches in the same season was 2006. Additionally, Liberty's 13 10-block matches are the most since a program rally-scoring-record 14 10-block contests were posted in 2006.

For the season, Liberty leads the Big South and ranks 48th nationally with 2.48 blocks per set, while the team's .166 opponents' hitting percentage is ranked 36th in the nation.

Sirena Vorster is ranked second in the Big South with 1.11 blocks per set, while Anna Gragg is third with 1.06 blocks per set. Also efficient on offense, Gragg (.307) and Vorster (.270) rank third and seventh, respectively, in the Big South in hitting percentage.

2,000 Club
Anna Willey is ranked second in the Big South with 9.67 assists per set overall, including 10.09 assists per set in conference matches.

On Saturday against UNC Asheville, Willey passed Julie Sitler (1985-88) into eighth place in program history with 2,070 career assists.

On Sept. 9 against USC Upstate, Hannah Morris dished out a career-high 51 assists.

Morris and Willey are the first Liberty teammates to both post at least one 50-assist match in the same season since 2009, when Courtney Boggs and Kallie Corbin did so.

4X10
Last Saturday at Gardner-Webb, four Lady Flames - Leah Clayton (21), Gabrielle Vess (16), Sirena Vorster (12) and Anna Gragg (11) - reached double figures in kills. It marked the first time since Sept. 20, 2014, versus Wright State that four Lady Flames scored 10+ kills in one match. That day, Caroline Douglas (17), Hannah Weidner (15), Jade Vorster (11) and Sirena Vorster (11) all scored 10 or more kills.

Serving Up Aces
Liberty served up a season-high 12 aces on Oct. 22 at Gardner-Webb, its most aces since a 13-ace match at N.C. Central, Aug. 24, 2012. Sirena Vorster recorded a career-high six aces, while Payton Carter registered three aces. Vorster became the fifth Liberty player in rally-scoring history with six aces in a single match.

Liberty vs. Campbell
Series Record: Liberty leads all-time series, 17-5
Current Series Streak: Liberty W1
Last Meeting: Liberty 3, Campbell 0 (Oct. 10, 2016 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Last Campbell Victory: Campbell 3, Liberty 2 (Nov. 7, 2015 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Campbell Head Coach: Greg Goral
Coaching Record at Campbell: 54-66 (4th Year) Add Winthrop, CSU
Liberty Head Coach: Shane Pinder (2007, 2010, 2012 Big South Coach of the Year)
Coaching Record: 236-173 (13th Year)

Campbell (11-13, 6-4 Big South), the defending Big South runner-up, currently sits in fourth place in the conference standings. The Camels have gone 4-1 since falling at Liberty on Oct. 10. The Camels rank second in the Big South with 16.66 digs per set overall, placing them 20th among all NCAA Division I teams.

Jenny Tait's .368 hitting percentage paces the Big South, while she has hit .385 in league play. Loni Kreun averages 2.87 kills per set, good for fifth in the conference, while Kayla Schanback is ranked fourth with 4.42 digs per set and sixth with 0.35 aces per set. Schanback was named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week last Monday.

Series History
The Lady Flames hold a 17-5 all-time record against Campbell, including 12-3 as Big South opponents. Liberty had won 10 meetings in a row between the two teams until Nov. 8, 2014, when the Camels downed the Lady Flames, 3-1, at Gore Arena. Liberty fought back from a 6-1, fifth-set deficit to win a back-and-forth match over Campbell, 3-2 (18-25, 25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 15-11), Oct. 9, 2015 in its last visit to Buies Creek, N.C.

Last Meeting
Liberty outhit Campbell, .295 to .025 on Oct. 10 in the Vines Center, downing the Camels, 3-0. Leah Clayton scored a match-high 15 kills while Gabrielle Vess added 10 kills. It was Liberty's third home match in a four-day span, all wins.   

Home Away From Home/9+
Liberty is 5-2 in Big South matches away from the Vines Center so far this year. This is the 10th season in a row in which the Lady Flames will finish over .500 in conference away matches. From 2007 to present, Liberty is 52-20 (.722) in Big South matches away from Lynchburg.

This is also the 10th season in a row in which Liberty has won nine or more Big South matches.