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Liberty Now 3-0 After Defeating Maryland

August 30, 2008  Richmond, Va.  RSS
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Chelaine McCarty hit .320 with 11 kills versus Maryland, helping the Lady Flames improve to 3-0 to start the 2008 season.

Chelaine McCarty hit .320 with 11 kills versus Maryland, helping the Lady Flames improve to 3-0 to start the 2008 season.

Thanks to a staunch defensive effort, the Liberty volleyball team defeated ACC opponent Maryland by a 3-1 count (17-25, 25-15, 25-16, 25-17) Saturday afternoon, wrapping up a 3-0 weekend at the VCU Third Degree Sportswear Invitational.

The Lady Flames recorded 11 blocks in the match and held the Terrapins to a .000 attack percentage in each of the final three sets, improving to 3-0 for the first time since becoming an NCAA Division I program in 1988. Liberty also wrapped up its first unbeaten invitational since 1997. That season, the Lady Flames went 3-0 at both the East Carolina Tournament and the Liberty Invitational.

Maryland, the defending VCU Third Degree Sportswear Invitational champion, is now 0-2. The Terrapins will meet host VCU, the only other unbeaten team in the tournament, tonight at 7 p.m. to wrap up the weekend action.

Maryland, which features four players who stand 6-3 or taller, used height to its advantage in set one. The Terrapins controlled play throughout, hitting .407 and recording three blocks. Katie Usher and Michelle Kenning notched four kills apiece during Maryland's 25-17 victory. Chelaine McCarty (Jr., MB, Houston, Ala.) paced the Lady Flames with four kills and a .571 attack percentage.

Momentum swung back into Liberty's favor in set two, as coach Shane Pinder instructed his team to increase the defensive pressure. A senior, Ashley Webber (MB, Lakeside, Calif.) and a freshman, Kelly Haseman (DS/L, Three Rivers, Mich.) answered the call. Webber had a hand in three of the Lady Flames' four blocks during the stanza, while Haseman, making her first career start at libero, tallied six digs. Nicki Scripko (So., OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) took care of the offense for Liberty, recording a set-high six kills in the Lady Flames' 25-15 win.

It was more of the same for the Lady Flames during the third set. This time, McCarty took center stage. She paced Liberty with four kills and three blocks, including two of the solo variety. The junior's efforts helped the Lady Flames capture a 25-16 triumph.

Aggressive serving played a key role in Liberty's 25-17 decision in set four, which sealed the match victory. The Lady Flames served up six aces, four of which came off Kallie Corbin's (Jr., S, Beaverton, Ore.) right hand. Liberty only hit .038 as a team during the final set, but Brittany Pacella (R-Jr., RS, Reading, Pa.) stepped up down the stretch. She recorded each of Liberty's final three kills, including the match-winning spike.

Webber paced all players with a Liberty season-high seven blocks, and Haseman tracked down many of the attacks which Webber was unable to reject. The freshman came up with a match-high and career-high 17 digs.

Meanwhile, McCarty and Scripko spearheaded the Lady Flames' offensive attack. McCarty hit .320 with 11 kills, while Scripko added 10 kills. Directing the Liberty offense was Corbin, who racked up 32 assists, six kills, eight digs and four aces on the afternoon.

Kenning was the lone player on either side to post a double-double, as the Terrapin finished with 10 kills and 14 digs. Usher ended up with nine kills and a team-best six blocks for Maryland.

Liberty will remain within the Commonwealth for its next tournament, the Patriot Invitational hosted by George Mason. The Lady Flames will play three matches at the event, beginning with a contest against Saint Francis (Pa.), Friday morning at 11 a.m. It will be the first time the Lady Flames and Red Flash have ever matched up on the volleyball hardwood.