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McCarty, Thomas Capture BSC Weekly Honors

September 28, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty middle blockers Loren Thomas (left) and Chelaine McCarty both garnered Big South Conference weekly honors.

Liberty middle blockers Loren Thomas (left) and Chelaine McCarty both garnered Big South Conference weekly honors.

After helping the Liberty volleyball team open Big South Conference play with a pair of weekend victories, both of the Lady Flames' starting middle blockers were honored by the conference on Monday. Senior Chelaine McCarty was tabbed the Big South Choice Hotels Player of the Week, while Loren Thomas was named Freshman of the Week.

The play of McCarty and Thomas sparked Liberty to a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Winthrop Friday evening and a 3-1 win against Coastal Carolina Saturday. The Lady Flames are now 7-7 overall and are one of three remaining undefeated teams in conference action, at 2-0.

McCarty (Houston, Ala.) was recognized as Big South Player of the Week for the third time in her career, after leading the Lady Flames in kills (37), attack percentage (.462) and points scored (45.0) over the weekend. She opened her stellar weekend with 15 kills versus Winthrop, five of which came during the decisive fifth set. McCarty was also the only player on either team to hit over .300 in the match, finishing at .355.

McCarty was then dominant the following afternoon, during a rematch of the 2008 Big South Championship title contest against Coastal Carolina. She hit .559 with a career-high 22 kills and a season-best eight blocks on the afternoon. McCarty became the first Liberty middle blocker since Becky Rudnick on Nov. 20, 2004 to post at least 20 kills in a match.

For the season, McCarty is ranked in the top 10 of three Big South statistical categories. She leads the conference with a .358 attack percentage, is ranked seventh in blocks per set (0.77) and sits 10th in kills per set (2.85).

Meanwhile, Thomas (Ocoee, Fla.) became the Lady Flames' first Big South Freshman of the Week since Nicki Scripko (Jr., OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) on Oct. 29, 2007. Thomas paced the team with 12 blocks on the weekend. A career-high seven of those rejections came against Winthrop on Friday, along with a career-best seven kills. Thomas hit .667 with two kills and a block assist during the memorable fifth set versus the Eagles. The following day, Thomas had a hand in five of Liberty's season-high 14 blocks, aiding in Liberty's win over Coastal Carolina.

Thomas is averaging 0.90 blocks per set for the season, ranking third in the Big South. She is the highest-ranked freshman in any conference statistical category.

Liberty will travel to Clinton, S.C., Friday at 7 p.m. to battle the Presbyterian Blue Hose. The Lady Flames will attempt to avenge a 3-2 setback, suffered last season at the Templeton Center.