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Liberty Volleyball to Begin ASUN Era in Jacksonville

September 20, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Volleyball to Begin ASUN Era in Jacksonville

Match Notes

ASUN newcomer Liberty (3-10, 0-0 ASUN) opens conference play this weekend in Jacksonville, Fla. The Lady Flames will face North Florida (5-10, 0-0 ASUN) on Friday at 6 p.m. before heading across the city to take on Jacksonville (1-12, 0-1) at 6 p.m., Saturday.       

These three teams were picked to finish fourth (North Florida), fifth (Liberty) and sixth (Jacksonville) in the 2018 ASUN Conference Preseason Volleyball coaches' poll.

Liberty's last trip to Florida, home state of current Lady Flames Jenna Culhan and Madi Furtado, saw the Lady Flames go 3-0 at the UCF Classic in 2012. During that tournament, Liberty overcame a 2-0 deficit to Jacksonville, rallying to beat the Dolphins in five sets. Liberty is 1-1 all-time against Jacksonville, and beat North Florida 3-1 on Sept. 4, 2010 in the teams' only previous meeting.

Starting Rotation
1. Liberty begins play in the ASUN Conference this year after a successful 27-year stint in the Big South Conference, during which the Lady Flames went 238-112 (.680) with nine Big South regular-season championships and a conference-record seven Big South Tournament titles.

2. Trevor Johnson takes over the program after spending the last two seasons as top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M. A very successful head coach at the NAIA level, he went 86-14 combined at Concordia (Calif.), leading the men's team to the 2013 NAIA national title.

3. Over the weekend, senior Margaret Latchford became the seventh player in program history with 1,500 or more digs (1,524). She has posted a season-high 23 digs twice this season, giving her 21 career 20-dig matches.

4. Sophomore Jenna Culhan scored a career-high 16 kills against Colgate on Sept. 8. After reaching double figures in kills just twice over her first 34 career matches, she has scored 10 or more kills in five out of the last six contests.

5. With Kainah Williams' career-high 12 kills on Saturday against College of Charleston, a program-record-tying eight Lady Flames have posted at least one double-digit kill match this season. The other seasons with eight double-digit-kill players were 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2013.

6. Junior middle blocker Anna Gragg is a two-time Big South All-Conference performer, including first-team honors in 2017. She posted a season-high eight blocks against Colgate on Sept. 8, one shy of a career high. Gragg leads the team in total blocks (49) on the season.

7. During its time in the Big South, Liberty went 20-7 all-time in conference openers. This will be Liberty's first conference-opening match in Florida.