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Nelson Reaches Milestone, Sparks 3-0 Sweep

October 25, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Jessica Nelson totaled 15 kills on Saturday, including the 1,000th of her career and the match-winner.

Jessica Nelson totaled 15 kills on Saturday, including the 1,000th of her career and the match-winner.

Liberty senior outside hitter Jessica Nelson enjoyed a special Saturday afternoon at the Vines Center. She led all players with a season-high 15 kills, including the 1,000th of her career, aiding in the Lady Flames' 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 26-24) sweep of visiting Charleston Southern.

Nelson (Tokyo, Japan), who has tallied 1,011 kills and 1,051 digs during her four-year career, is the first Lady Flame to post over 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs since assistant coach Jennifer (Belk) Vaden, a 2004 graduate.

The Lady Flames have now won four matches in a row and improve to 19-6 on the year. Liberty is 10-1 in Big South action, and takes over first place in the conference standings, as High Point fell to 9-1 with a Saturday loss to UNC Asheville.

Liberty also completed its second stellar October in a row. The Lady Flames went 8-1 during the month, winning all eight matches in 3-0 sweeps. During October 2007 and 2008, Liberty has won 18 of its 19 contests, with all 18 victories being 3-0 sweeps.

Meanwhile, Charleston Southern drops to 13-14 overall and 2-8 in Big South action. The Lady Buccaneers have lost five consecutive contests.

Liberty came out swinging to open the first set, recording kills on each of its first 11 attacks. Ashley Webber (Sr., MB, Lakeside, Calif.) notched a pair of kills during an early 5-0 burst, which put the Lady Flames ahead for good. Webber went on to close out Liberty's 25-18 victory with her fourth kill of the stanza.

The Lady Flames hit .533 during the opening frame, with seven players posting a kill. Nelson led the way with six kills, while Webber hit 1.000 for the set. For the Lady Buccaneers, Amanda Hill tallied three kills and two of her team's three service aces.

Charleston Southern came out strong to start the second set, scoring six of the stanza's first eight points. Amy Nokes contributed a block and a kill to the set-opening run. Chelaine McCarty (Jr., MB, Houston, Ala.) then notched two kills and a block assist during Liberty's ensuing 8-1 surge, posting the home team to a 10-7 edge.

Nelson served for six consecutive points near the end of the set, including a pair of aces. Karyl Bacon (So., OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) then posted a kill, wrapping up a 25-13 Liberty triumph and sending the Lady Flames into the intermission with a 2-0 advantage.

Nelson finished the second set with five kills on a .556 attack percentage for Liberty. Kallie Corbin (Jr., S, Beaverton, Ore.) added a pair of kills, eight assists and seven digs.

The third and final set featured a little bit of everything, including 11 ties and five lead changes. Hill was also knocked out of the contest temporarily for the Lady Buccaneers, after sustaining a cut above her left eye. Charleston Southern took a pair of four-point advantages, 9-5 and 12-8, during the stanza's early stages.

Liberty came back to earn a pair of match points at 24-22, before the visitors knotted up the contest at 24 apiece on an Amberle Trinder kill and a Lady Flame attack error. Nelson then finished up a 26-24 Liberty victory with back-to-back kills.

Nelson led all players in set three with four kills. Meanwhile, Hill came back from her injury to record three kills and four digs for Charleston Southern.

Nelson not only ended up as the only player on either team to reach double figures in kills, but also hit .429 and compiled eight digs and three aces for the match. Bacon, McCarty and Webber chipped in with seven kills each, with Bacon tallying a match-high 14 digs.

Corbin contributed a match-high 34 assists, five kills, two aces, nine digs and a trio of blocks. Meanwhile, libero Kelly Haseman (Fr., Three Rivers, Mich.) added nine digs of her own.

Hill led the Charleston Southern offensive attack with eight kills, while libero Emily Libertowski came up with a team-best 10 digs.

Liberty will take to the road for its next four matches, beginning with the Lady Flames' first-ever trip to new Big South member Gardner-Webb. The contest at the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center in Boiling Springs, N.C., is scheduled for Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. The Lady Flames will look to complete a season sweep of the Bulldogs, after winning 3-0 in the teams' matchup at the Vines Center on Oct. 3.