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McCarty Helps Lady Flames Beat Coastal

September 26, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Chelaine McCarty's career-high 22 kills pushed Liberty past Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

Chelaine McCarty's career-high 22 kills pushed Liberty past Coastal Carolina on Saturday.

Liberty senior middle blocker Chelaine McCarty enjoyed arguably the best match of her career, Saturday afternoon versus Coastal Carolina. Her career-high 22 kills and match-high eight blocks helped spark the Lady Flames past the Chanticleers 3-1 (21-25, 25-18, 25-18, 25-17) at the Vines Center.

With its victory in a rematch of the 2008 Big South Championship title contest, Liberty levels its overall record at 7-7 and remains one of three unbeaten teams in league play, with its 2-0 conference record. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina's three-match winning streak comes to an end, as the Chanticleers drop to 6-8 overall and 1-1 in Big South action.

Despite playing five sets Friday night versus Winthrop, the Lady Flames got off to a fast start in the opening stanza. McCarty (Houston, Ala.) notched five of her kills during a match-opening 13-6 surge. The Chanticleers quickly answered with a 9-1 run of their own, featuring six points on setter Kelsie Mauck's serve, retaking the lead at 15-14. Coastal Carolina never trailed again in the set, and Sierra Livesay's kill closed out a 25-21 win by the white-clad visitors.

Livesay, the reigning Big South Freshman of the Week, hit .444 with five kills, leading the Chanticleers to their first-set triumph. Coastal Carolina also utilized three aces during the opening session. On the Lady Flames' side of the net, McCarty had six kills and a trio of blocks in set one, while libero Kelly Haseman (So., Three Rivers, Mich.) came up with 11 of her team's 14 digs.

Chelsy Kimes' kill put Coastal Carolina in front, 6-4, early in set two. Liberty then took the lead for good with an ensuing 7-2 burst. The Lady Flames' decisive run was highlighted by Kirstyn Sanders' (R-Jr., MB/RS, Bear, Del.) kill and service ace. Liberty evened the match at 1-1, heading to the intermission, when McCarty's sixth kill of the set found the floor to wrap up a 25-18 decision.

McCarty did not slow down at all during the second set, hitting .750 with six kills and two blocks. Sanders added four kills of her own, helping Liberty hit .286 as a team. Kimes was head coach Kristen Bauer's most effective attacker, recording four kills during set two.

Freshman middle blocker Loren Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) helped the Lady Flames break out of a 14-14 deadlock, midway through the third stanza. She tallied a kill and two block assists, providing Liberty a lead it did not relinquish, at 17-14. McCarty accounted for three of Liberty's last four kills during the set, including the winning point of the Lady Flames' 25-18 victory.

Consistent McCarty had six more kills in the set three, while position mate Thomas also starred during the stanza. She hit .500 with three kills and four of the Lady Flames' six team blocks. Coastal Carolina middle blocker Megan Bickford also stood out during the third set, hitting .600 with a trio of kills.

Liberty never trailed during the fourth and final set, rolling to a 25-17 victory. Nicki Scripko (Jr., OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) came to life offensively for the Lady Flames, posting eight kills, including the match winner.

Liberty hit a match-high .292 during set four, paced by McCarty's .800 attack percentage and Scripko's .545 percentage. The duo recorded 12 of the Lady Flames' 13 kills, with McCarty complementing Scripko's production with four kills.

Coastal Carolina entered the match as the Big South leader in team blocks, and Jill Nyhof was ranked No. 2 nationally in the category. However, Liberty won the battle of the blocks on Saturday, finishing with a season-best 14 rejections to the Chanticleers' 10. The Lady Flames also outhit the visitors on the afternoon, .234 to .137.

McCarty eclipsed her previous career high of 19 kills, set during the 2007 season at Radford. She also led all players in attack percentage (.559) and had a season-high eight blocks. Scripko's fourth consecutive double-double consisted of 15 kills and 10 digs.

Sanders also enjoyed a solid offensive match for the Lady Flames, finishing with eight kills from her right-side hitter position. Setting the table for Liberty's attack was senior Kallie Corbin (S, Beaverton, Ore.). She equaled a season high with 51 assists, pushing her past Kristin Colson and into third place on Liberty's career assist list. The Oregonian has totaled 4,354 career helpers.

Haseman continued her stellar play on Liberty's back line. She tied her career-high for the second consecutive day, with 23 digs. The sophomore climbed over the 500-dig plateau for her career on Saturday.

Kimes' double-double (12 kills, 10 digs) highlighted Coastal Carolina's side of the final stat sheet. Livesay chipped in with 10 kills and eight digs. Defensively, libero Megan Pollard shared match-high honors with 23 digs for the Chanticleers.

Liberty will take to the road for eight of its next 10 matches. The difficult stretch begins Friday at 7 p.m., when the Lady Flames visit Presbyterian. Liberty will aim to avenge a 3-2 loss at the Templeton Center last season.

Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina will return home for a Tuesday non-conference match versus in-state foe South Carolina State. Match time is slated for 6 p.m. at Kimbel Arena.