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Balanced Attack Pushes LU Past Radford, 3-0

October 21, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Chelaine McCarty notches one of her nine kills versus Radford, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center.

Chelaine McCarty notches one of her nine kills versus Radford, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center.

Match Video Highlights

A balanced, efficient offensive attack enabled the Liberty volleyball team to sweep Radford, 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-10), Tuesday evening at the Vines Center. Five Lady Flames recorded six or more kills, and Liberty hit .418 as a team in its 15th straight win over its in-state rival.

The .418 attack percentage marked just the third time Liberty has hit over .400 in Shane Pinder's 150 matches as head coach, and the first time against a conference foe. The Lady Flames are now 17-6 overall and 8-1 in the Big South. Liberty moves to within one-half match of conference leader High Point, which was idle Tuesday. Meanwhile, Radford falls to 7-12 overall and 2-7 in conference play, after suffering its third straight setback.

The opening set was the most competitive stanza of the evening, featuring 10 ties and four lead changes. The visiting Highlanders led as late as 14-13, after a kill by Jessica Sullivan. However, Liberty scored the next two points, on a Karyl Bacon (So., OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) kill and a block by Chelaine McCarty (Jr., MB, Houston, Ala.) and Brittany Pacella (R-Jr., RS, Reading, Pa.), and the Lady Flames never trailed again. Liberty closed out a 25-18 victory with five consecutive points, including two kills by Ashley Webber (Sr., MB, Lakeside, Calif.).

McCarty hit .571 and led all players with four kills during the opening frame for the Lady Flames. Meanwhile, Megan McWhorter and Lexi Miller evenly divided six kills for Radford.

Radford outside hitter Laura Waddell, returning to her hometown of Lynchburg, put down a kill to give the Highlanders their third and final one-point edge of set two, 9-8. Liberty then swung the momentum in its favor with a 10-2 surge, keyed by Bacon. The outside hitter notched three kills during the run and finished things off with a service ace, making the score 18-11, Lady Flames. Liberty went on to claim its second set of the match 25-16, with the decisive point coming on a block by Bacon and Webber.

Sophomore outside hitters Bacon and Nicki Scripko (Fayetteville, N.C.) had four kills apiece for Liberty during the second stanza and helped the Lady Flames hit .441. Their efforts also helped negate the five kills totaled by Radford's Miller.

Scripko and Kallie Corbin (Jr., S, Beaverton, Ore.) both served up aces during a 7-1 Liberty run to open set three. The Lady Flames never looked back, finishing off a 3-0 sweep with a 25-10 triumph.

Liberty hit .609 during the final stanza, led by Bacon's six kills and .750 attack percentage. Six different Lady Flames contributed at least one kill to the set three triumph, including Kirstyn Sanders (R-So., MB, Bear, Del.), whose kill provided the match's final point.

Bacon, starting at outside hitter for the second match in a row after playing libero for much of the season, led all players with 13 kills and added two aces. McCarty, who has posted impressive statistics against Radford throughout her Liberty career, continued the trend Tuesday. She hit a match-high .692 with nine kills for the Lady Flames.

Scripko fell just shy of a double-double, with eight kills and a team-best nine digs. Pacella and Webber chipped in with six kills each.

Corbin finished the contest with 33 assists for the Lady Flames, including No. 3,500 of her career. The junior, who added four kills, two aces and eight digs versus Radford, now has 3,512 career assists.

Miller led Radford offensively with nine kills, while Lauren Clary's nine digs paced the Highlanders. Middle blocker Melinda Clelland, one of only two seniors on the Radford roster, totaled a match-high three blocks.

Liberty will return to action Friday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames host Coastal Carolina in the middle contest of their three-match homestand at the Vines Center. Liberty will attempt to snap the Chanticleers' five-match winning streak and finish a season sweep of Coastal Carolina. The Lady Flames posted a 3-1 road victory over the Chanticleers on Sept. 27.