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Scripko Tabbed Rising Star by

January 23, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Nicki Scripko was recognized among the nation's elite freshmen by

Nicki Scripko was recognized among the nation's elite freshmen by

Liberty freshman right-side hitter Nicki Scripko was one of 14 players nationally to be recognized today by the Collegiate Volleyball Update ( as a Rising Star. The award is the latest in a series of decorations which have been bestowed upon the Lady Flame rookie this year.

Texas outside hitter Julianne Faucette was named the 2007 Freshman of the Year, and Scripko (Fayetteville, N.C.) was the lone right-side hitter listed among the Rising Stars. Also included on the list was Arielle Wilson from national champion Penn State, as well as standout performers from national powers Stanford and Washington.

Scripko also earned accolades on the state and regional levels. The 6-1 right-side hitter was a Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) first-team all-state honoree, becoming the first Liberty freshman ever to be so honored. Scripko was additionally tabbed an honorable mention All-East Region selection by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). She was one of nine freshmen in the nation to be noted by the AVCA.

Scripko was named Big South Freshman of the Year, one of a number of times she was recognized by the conference this past season. The North Carolina native was a first-team All-Big South honoree and was selected to the all-tournament team, as the Lady Flames captured their first Big South Championship since 2001.

A member of the Big South All-Freshman team, Scripko won four-straight Big South Freshman of the Week awards during October, a month which saw the Lady Flames fashion 10-consecutive 3-0 sweeps. Scripko came into her own during the heart of Liberty's Big South Conference schedule, and ranked second in the conference in both attack percentage (.343) and kills per game (4.26) in conference-only matches.

For the season, Scripko finished second on the Lady Flames' roster in attack percentage (.302), kills (393) and assists (83). Her attack percentage was the fourth-highest in program history under the rally-scoring format and her kill total was the most by a Liberty rookie since assistant coach Jennifer (Belk) Vaden put down 444 kills in 2001.

Scripko paced the Lady Flames with 18 kills in their 3-1, season-ending setback versus No. 10 national seed California in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament. The match marked the first time Liberty has taken a game in a NCAA Tournament tilt and closed out the Lady Flames' campaign at 27-9. The 27 victories set a new program record at the NCAA Division I level.

The Collegiate Volleyball Update has rewarded head coach Shane Pinder's Lady Flames for their banner season on several occasions. Sophomore setter Kallie Corbin (Beaverton, Ore.) won the National Player of the Week award on Oct. 30, after helping Liberty stop Winthrop's 63-match Big South winning streak. The Lady Flames also received honorable mention for the organization's Deep Digging Team of the Year award, as a result of their defensive efforts.

2007 Freshman of the Year: Juliann Faucette, OH, Texas

Rising Stars
Jovana Blazeski, OH, Florida A&M
Amy Benz, MH, Cleveland State
Laura DeBruler, OH, Illinois
Elizabeth Fleming, S, Marshall
Lindsay Fletemier, MB, Dayton
Jenna Hagglund, S, Washington
Alix Klineman, OH, Stanford
Allison Nieters, L, Iona
Becky Perry, OH, Washington
Nicki Scripko, RS, Liberty
Kacie Wikierak, L, Denver
Felicia Willoughby, MB, Virginia Tech
Arielle Wilson, MH, Penn State
Megan York, OH, Saint Mary's