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Outside Hitters Lead Liberty to Sweep

October 24, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Freshman Courtney Boggs dives for one of her four digs during Friday's win over Coastal Carolina.

Freshman Courtney Boggs dives for one of her four digs during Friday's win over Coastal Carolina.

With Liberty starting outside hitter Nicki Scripko sitting on the sidelines of Friday evening's match at the Vines Center due to injury, her position mates stepped up their play. Outside hitters Karyl Bacon and Jessica Nelson both fashioned double-doubles, helping the Lady Flames sweep Coastal Carolina, 3-0 (25-22, 25-14, 25-22), and halt the Chanticleers' five-match winning streak.

Bacon's (So., OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) second double-double of the season consisted of a match-high 14 kills and 11 digs. Meanwhile, Nelson (R-Sr., OH, Tokyo, Japan) finished with 11 kills, a team-best 14 digs and a career-high five assists.

Their efforts helped extend Liberty's current winning streak to three and excited a season-high crowd of 1,071. The Lady Flames improve to 18-6 on the season and 9-1 in Big South play. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina falls to 17-8 overall and 6-3 in the conference.

Liberty never trailed in the opening stanza, but the Lady Flames' lead never reached more than four points, either. Coastal Carolina's Chelsy Kimes, the reigning Big South Player of the Week, kept her team close by hitting .462 with six kills. However, the Lady Flames took the set, 25-22, due to a balanced attack. Bacon, Nelson and Chelaine McCarty (Jr., MB, Houston, Ala.) contributed five kills apiece, with McCarty slamming home the set clincher.

A pair of kills by Bacon helped Liberty run out to a 3-0 advantage at the outset of set two. However, it was a pair of extended serving runs later in the frame which helped the Lady Flames take complete control of the set. Bacon served for five points in a row and, three points later, Kallie Corbin (Jr., S, Beaverton, Ore.) stepped up for six consecutive service points. Their efforts helped a 6-4 edge balloon into a 19-6 cushion. The prolonged surge featured three aces, one by Bacon and a pair by Corbin. After another Bacon ace made it set point for the homestanding Lady Flames, Corbin's kill wrapped up a 25-14 Liberty triumph in set two.

In addition to Liberty's quartet of aces during the middle stanza, the Lady Flames also featured a stifling block at the net. After failing to record a single rejection during the opening stanza, Liberty exploded for five blocks during set two, limiting the Chanticleers to a .033 attack percentage. Coastal Carolina libero Brett Starbuck paced all players with nine digs during the stanza.

The Chanticleers' Jill Nyhof put down a kill to cap the opening rally of the third set and give Coastal Carolina its only lead of the evening. However, Liberty quickly retook the advantage, after a kill by Nelson and a combined block by Brittany Pacella (R-Jr., RS, Reading, Pa.) and Ashley Webber (Sr., MB, Lakeside, Calif.). Later, a 6-1 burst, which included kills by five different Lady Flames, increased the Liberty lead to 16-7.

The Chanticleers came back, notching 12 of the match's next 15 points. Conference blocking leader Jill Nyhof had three block assists during the run, which enabled the visitors to knot the score at 19-19. Liberty then took the lead for good in its 25-22 victory on back-to-back kills by Bacon.

Nelson starred offensively during the final set for Liberty, hitting .625 with five kills, bringing her to within four kills of 1,000 for her career. Her performance helped cancel out that of the Chanticleers' Megan Bickford, who hit .500 with a set-high six kills.

Coastal Carolina entered the match ranked No. 6 in the nation in service aces, but Liberty doubled the Chanticleers up on Friday. The Lady Flames notched six aces to Coastal Carolina's three, as Bacon and Corbin recorded two aces each.

Blocking also fueled Liberty's triumph, as the Lady Flames owned an 8-5 edge in the statistical category. Liberty, which is now 12-0 this season when posting eight blocks or more, was led by McCarty's four rejections.

McCarty also joined Bacon and Nelson in double figures for kills. The junior middle blocker hit .333 with 10 kills for the Lady Flames. Meanwhile, freshman libero Kelly Haseman (Three Rivers, Mich.) made it three Liberty players with 10 or more digs, ending up with 11.

Corbin totaled a match-high 37 assists, to go along with four kills, five digs and three blocks.

For Coastal Carolina, Bickford closed the match with a team-high 11 kills, hitting .391 in the process. Starbuck led all players with 20 digs in the contest.

Liberty will attempt to extend its winning streak to four when the Lady Flames close out their current three-match homestand, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Liberty will be attempting to finish a regular-season sweep of visiting Charleston Southern. The Lady Flames swept the Lady Buccaneers, 3-0, on Sept. 26 at the CSU Field House.

Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina will travel west to face Radford on Saturday. Match time is scheduled for 2 p.m.