Senior Karyl Bacon will compete in her final match at the Vines Center Saturday, as the Lady Flames host UNC Asheville at 2 p.m.
Live Stats – Liberty vs. UNC Asheville Live Video – Liberty vs. UNC Asheville The Liberty Lady Flames will play their final match of the regular season, Saturday afternoon, hosting the Bulldogs of UNC Asheville at 2 p.m. in the Vines Center. Saturday also marks Senior Day at the Lady Flames' home arena, as the program will honor senior outside hitter Karyl Bacon prior to the match. Liberty is looking to win its third straight match, after posting a 3-1 win over Radford Tuesday and edging Coastal Carolina, 3-2, on Nov. 6. Keeping Up with the Lady Flames Saturday's match will be available to view on the Big South Network for a small fee. To access, click the link at the top of this page, or find the same link on the Schedule/Results page. In addition, live stats for the contest will be provided by the Liberty Athletics Communications office. Live stats can also be accessed by clicking the link at the top of this page, or by clicking the same link on the Schedule/Results page.
Liberty at a Glance At 22-8 overall and 13-2 in conference play, Liberty has already clinched at least a share of the Big South regular-season title for the fourth consecutive year. A win tomorrow would cement Liberty's sole regular-season championship. Liberty's only two conference setbacks this season have been to the Winthrop Eagles, who will host the 2010 Big South Volleyball Championship Nov. 18-20 in Rock Hill, S.C. Prior to the Oct. 30 road loss to the Eagles, Liberty was on an eight-match winning streak, the team's longest of the season. It was also the most extensive streak since the 2008 season, when the squad started the year 8-0. Currently, the Lady Flames have won two in a row. Bringing Down the Bulldogs The Lady Flames took a 3-1 victory over UNC Asheville in their first meeting this season, avenging two regular-season losses to the Bulldogs in 2009. In this season's first matchup on Oct. 16, Karyl Bacon surpassed 1,000 career kills, becoming the ninth player in program history to post 1,000 career kills and digs. Liberty hit .322 as a team, and Hannah Anderson contributed a career-high 14 kills in the win. The Lady Flames also dominated in blocking, as Kendle Rollins jumped for 10 rejections, tying a career high.
On a Roll Liberty has won 20 or more matches overall for the last four years, and this marks only the second time in program history that Liberty has posted 20 wins for four straight seasons. The last time the program posted four consecutive 20-win seasons was 1996 – 1999. Celebrating Karyl Saturday is Senior Day at Liberty, and fans will have the opportunity to honor lone senior Karyl Bacon as she competes in her final match at the Vines Center. The California native has enjoyed considerable success as a Lady Flame, becoming the ninth player in program history to join the 1,000/1,000 club, amassing 1,074 kills and 1,421 digs over the last four years. Liberty is 36-7 at the Vines Center during Bacon's career, and 28-3 against Big South opponents. Also, she played her very first collegiate match at home on Aug. 24, 2007, against Howard. She hit .471 with her first of many double-doubles, leading the team in both kills (10) and digs (10). Bacon has tallied 42 career double-doubles as a Lady Flame. A Serious Setter Spearheaded by freshman setter Jade Craycraft, the Lady Flames have posted three 50-assist matches in the last four contests. The team has tallied 60+ assists in four matches this year. Individually, Craycraft has recorded 50 or more assists five times during her rookie campaign, including a career-high 57 helpers against UNC Asheville on Oct. 16. The Wooster, Ohio native is ranked 82nd nationally and 13th among freshmen, averaging 10.19 assists per set. Craycraft has been crucial in helping lead a Liberty team that is No. 1 in the Big South with 12.34 assists per set. Haseman's Too Hot to Handle Libero Kelly Haseman, who has ranked as high as 12th in the nation in digs per set, currently sits at No. 41, averaging 5.10 digs per set. She has made history more than once this season, as she became the first player in program history to post back-to-back 500-dig seasons, and she is the only Lady Flame to ever record three 30-dig contests in a row. Haseman broke her own Liberty rally-scoring record for digs in a season this year, as she currently sits at 566, moving her into No. 2 in program history. Her 560 digs in 2009 holds the No. 3 ranking in the category. Happel Serving Up Impressive Numbers Freshman Lillie Happel currently leads the Big South with 0.38 aces per set, ranking No. 7 among all freshmen in the nation in the category. Her success at the service line also helped Liberty move to No. 16 in the national rankings in aces. Victorious at the Vines The Lady Flames are 7-1 at home this year, posting four 3-0 sweeps in their home arena. The only loss came as a 3-1 decision to Winthrop on Oct. 2. Liberty has won the first set in six out of the seven home wins.
Tremendous Thomas Sophomore middle blocker Loren Thomas leads the team and ranks second in the Big South with a .324 overall attack percentage, and has hit .400 or better in 10 contests this year. She posted a season-high .500 attack percentage against Coastal Carolina on Nov. 6, and has jumped for 18 blocks in the last four matches. Rambling Rollins Middle blocker Kendle Rollins has continued making an impact for Liberty, recording 10 or more kills in each of the last four matches. Her 16 unanswered spikes against Winthrop on Oct. 30 set a career-high for the redshirt freshman. Rollins, who nabbed her first-ever Big South honor two weeks ago by being named the Defensive Player of the Week, has accounted for 11 or more Liberty points in the last nine straight matches. With 105 blocks this year, she's moved to third in program history under the rally-scoring format. Double-Double Trouble Karyl Bacon, Lillie Happel and Jade Craycraft are the team leaders in double-doubles this season. Bacon ranks third in the Big South with 15, while Happel is tied for ninth with six and Craycraft ranks 11th with four double-doubles on the year. Both Bacon and Happel posted their most recent double-doubles at Coastal Carolina on Nov. 6 in Conway, S.C. Craycraft's most recent double-double performance took place on Tuesday against Radford, as the freshman tallied 44 assists and 11 digs in the match. Still Serving Strong Liberty has been dominant at the service line this year, and the squad currently leads the Big South, averaging 1.70 aces per set. The Lady Flames have recorded double digits in service aces in six matches this year, including a season-high 18 against Gardner-Webb on Oct. 23. Happel accounted for six of those aces, a career-high for the freshman, marking the most aces by a Lady Flame since Kallie Corbin posted nine against Navy on Sept. 15, 2006.
The 18 aces marks the most aces recorded by a Liberty squad since Sept. 13, 2002, when the Lady Flames blasted 21 aces in a 3-0 sweep over Delaware State at the Vines Center. Big Numbers against the Bucs In the 3-2 win over Charleston Southern on Oct. 29, several Lady Flames hit some interesting season milestones. Setter Jade Craycraft notched her 1,000th assist, libero Kelly Haseman hit her 500th dig, Karyl Bacon tallied her 400th kill and Kendle Rollins posted her 100th block. In addition, defensive specialist Courtney Cooper tied a career high with 15 digs against the Bucs. She originally posted the feat on Sept. 20, 2009, against Elon. A Solid Attack The Lady Flames have hit above .300 in nine matches this season, and have been victorious in each contest doing so. Also, Liberty has posted a .400 or better attack percentage once, in a 3-0 sweep over Charleston Southern on Oct. 2. Brilliant Blocking Liberty has jumped for double digits in blocks in nine matches this season, including four contests in a row from Oct. 9 to Oct. 22. The Lady Flames lead the Big South in the category, averaging 2.06 blocks per set. Middle blocker Kendle Rollins ranks third in the conference, averaging 1.00 blocks per set.
Fantastic in Five By defeating Coastal Carolina, 3-2, on Nov. 6, the Lady Flames improved to 3-0 in five-set matches against conference opponents this season. Liberty earlier won a 3-2 match over Presbyterian College on the road on Sept. 25, and overcame the Bucs of Charleston Southern, 3-2, on Oct. 29. The team has now won seven straight five-set matches against Big South opponents. Scouting UNC Asheville The Bulldogs (19-10, 11-4 Big South) are on a seven-match winning streak, after sweeping conference opponent Gardner-Webb, 3-0, Tuesday in Boiling Springs, N.C. The team currently sits at No. 3 in the Big South standings. UNC Asheville is led by junior outside hitter Cindi Miller, who has tallied 420 total kills and is averaging 4.00 kills per set. Kelsey Benorden is close behind with 378 kills, and setter Rachel Guinane has collected 717 assists this season. The Lady Flames walked away with a 3-1 win in the first meeting of the season between the two teams on Oct. 16 at the Justice Center. Liberty hit .322 in that match and held the Bulldogs to .252. Miller led all players with 21 kills in the matchup. The Lady Flames are 27-19 all-time against the Bulldogs, after falling in both regular-season contests last year. Liberty split with UNC Asheville during the 2008 regular season, sweeping the Bulldogs at home on Oct. 11 before dropping a 3-2 decision on Nov. 7 on the road. That same season, the Lady Flames swept the Bulldogs, 3-0, in the second round of the Big South Championships.
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