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LU, Corbin Recognized in BSC Preseason Poll

August 4, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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(L-R): Lady Flames Chelaine McCarty, Kallie Corbin and Nicki Scripko were all voted to the 2009 Big South Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team, with Corbin tabbed as Preseason Big South Player of the Year.

(L-R): Lady Flames Chelaine McCarty, Kallie Corbin and Nicki Scripko were all voted to the 2009 Big South Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team, with Corbin tabbed as Preseason Big South Player of the Year.

The Liberty volleyball team has been chosen first in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll, as voted by the league's head volleyball coaches. The coaches also voted the Lady Flames' senior setter, Kallie Corbin, the Big South Preseason Player of the Year, as announced today by the Big South office.

Corbin (Beaverton, Ore.), the 2008 Big South Player of the Year and Championship MVP, was joined on the preseason all-conference team by a pair of teammates, Chelaine McCarty (Sr., MB, Houston, Ala.) and Nicki Scripko (Jr., OH/RS, Fayetteville, N.C.). UNC Asheville placed two players on the team, Kelsey Benorden and Raquel Miotto. Charleston Southern's Amanda Hill and Coastal Carolina's Chelsy Kimes rounded out the squad.

The two-time defending conference champion Lady Flames, under the direction of sixth-year head coach Shane Pinder, were a unanimous selection to claim the 2009 Big South title. The Lady Flames, who return four starters and their libero from last year's 25-9 squad, garnered all nine first-place votes and 81 points. Coastal Carolina, the 2008 Big South Championship runner-up, tallied 67 points for second place, while UNC Asheville's 62 points left the Bulldogs in third.

High Point, which earned a share of the 2008 conference regular-season title, was picked to finish fourth with 51 points. Winthrop, with 49 points, rounded out the top five. Presbyterian ended up sixth in the voting with 28 points, while Charleston Southern's 27 tallies put the Buccaneers in the seventh position. Radford, the 2009 Big South Championship host institution, was picked eighth with 24 points, and Gardner-Webb came in ninth with 16 points.

Corbin, who finished second in the Big South in both assists (1,144) and service aces (45) last season, earned a considerable amount of postseason hardware. In addition to her previously mentioned Big South accolades, the setter became Liberty's first-ever honorable mention AVCA All-American at the Division I level. She was also the first Lady Flame to earn Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) State Player of the Year honors.

McCarty led the Big South in attack percentage (.353) as a junior and earned her second consecutive second-team All-Big South mention. The middle blocker, who hit .300 or higher during 25 of Liberty's 34 matches last season, also earned a place on the first-team VaSID All-State squad. She made the all-tournament team at all four of the Lady Flames' season-opening tournaments (VCU Third Degree Sportswear Invitational, Patriot Invitational, Varney's Kansas State Invitational and Golden Dome Invitational).

Scripko, who is included on the preseason all-conference team for the second season in a row, led the Lady Flames with 367 kills in 2008, while splitting time between outside hitter and right-side hitter. She was a second-team All-Big South performer as a sophomore, as well as a second-team VaSID All-State selection. For the second consecutive year, Scripko made the Big South All-Tournament team after helping the Lady Flames claim the conference title.

Corbin, McCarty, Scripko and the rest of the Lady Flames are set to begin preseason practice one week from today, on Aug. 11. Liberty will begin the 2009 season on Aug. 28, when it squares off with UNC Greensboro at 4 p.m., in the opening match of the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va.

The 2009 Big South Volleyball Championship will be contested at the newly renovated Dedmon Center, on the campus of Radford University in Radford, Va. The three-day event, which will determine the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship, is scheduled for Nov. 19-21.

2009 Big South Volleyball Preseason Poll (First-place votes) – Points
1) Liberty (9) – 81 points
2) Coastal Carolina – 67
3) UNC Asheville – 62
4) High Point – 51
5) Winthrop – 49
6) Presbyterian – 28
7) Charleston Southern – 27
8) Radford – 24
9) Gardner-Webb – 16

2009 Big South Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team
Kallie Corbin, Sr., S, Liberty (Preseason Player of the Year)
Chelaine McCarty, Sr., MB, Liberty
Nicki Scripko, Jr., OH/RS, Liberty

Kelsey Benorden, Jr., OH, UNC Asheville
Raquel Miotto, Sr., LIB, UNC Asheville
Amanda Hill, Jr., OH, Charleston Southern
Chelsy Kimes, Jr., OH, Coastal Carolina