Liberty volleyball competes at High Point and Campbell this weekend.
Complete Match Notes The Liberty volleyball team concludes its 2012 away schedule this weekend with two matches in North Carolina. The Lady Flames play at High Point at 7 p.m. on Friday before taking on Campbell at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Liberty (18-7, 8-2 Big South) leads the Big South, while High Point (18-8, 7-3) is in third place, one match behind Liberty and one-half match behind second-place Presbyterian College (8-3). Campbell is in search of its first conference victory, at 0-10. Friday's match between Liberty and High Point features the last two Big South champions.
Liberty at a Glance Liberty held off Radford for a 3-2 win, last Friday at Dedmon Center, posting a season-high 15.5 team blocks. Junior outside hitter Lillie Happel registered a career-high 26 kills, the most by a Big South player this season. Kendle Rollins (career-high nine blocks), Jade Craycraft (7), Loren Thomas (6) and Caroline Douglas (5) all had five or more blocks. With the win, ninth-year head coach Shane Pinder is now tied with former Winthrop head coach Joel McCartney for fourth all-time in the Big South with 167 career wins.
How to Follow the Lady Flames Live stats will be available for both of this weekend's matches, provided by the respective Athletic Communications offices of High Point and Campbell. Fans can view Friday's contest via live video streaming, for a small charge, on the Big South Network.
Quick Hits - Liberty leads the Big South by 1/2 match over PC, one match over High Point. - The Lady Flames posted a season-high 15.5 blocks during 3-2 win at Radford, Friday. - Liberty ranks first in the Big South in hitting percentage, aces and assists. - Lillie Happel sent down a career-high 26 kills at Radford, Friday. - Jade Craycraft dished out 3,000th career assist on Friday (seventh in program history). - The Lady Flames are 11-1 in Friday matches this season, winning 11 straight. - Caroline Douglas leads the Big South in kills; Loren Thomas is first in hitting percentage. - Liberty was voted first in Big South Preseason coaches' poll. (HPU - 5th; Campbell - 7th) - Liberty leads all-time series over High Point, 27-7, leads Campbell, 11-3. - Lady Flames swept both Campbell and High Point, Oct. 5-6 at Vines Center.
25+ Junior outside hitter Lillie Happel recorded a career-high 26 kills during a 3-2 victory at Radford, last Friday. Her 26 kills tied Nicki Scripko (Oct. 14, 2008 vs. High Point) for the most kills by a Lady Flame in the current 25-point scoring format, which began in 2008. Happel's previous career high was 25 kills, set Sept. 2, 2011 against Seton Hall. She becomes the fourth Liberty player with more than 25 kills in a single match in the rally-scoring era. She joins Scripko, along with current Liberty assistant coach Jennifer (Belk) Vaden and Rachel Harnack.
Block Party Liberty set a new season high in team blocks at Radford, posting 15.5 rejections. Kendle Rollins led the way with a career-high nine blocks, followed by Jade Craycraft (seven), Loren Thomas (six) and Caroline Douglas (five). Rollins is now tied with Stacy Collier (1994-97) for eighth in program history with 289 career blocks, passing Chelaine McCarty (2007-09) on Friday as well. Thomas ranks ninth in Big South history with 444 career blocks, eight away from seventh, which is held by Anthonia Akpama of Liberty and Jill Nyhof of Coastal Carolina.
Versatility Junior setter Jade Craycraft posted 47 assists, 10 digs, seven blocks and two service aces against Radford. In the process, she registered her team-leading eighth double-double this season and 21st for her career. Craycraft also reached three milestones on Friday, becoming the seventh player in program history to surpass 3,000 career assists. She recorded her 200th career block and 600th career dig at Radford as well.
Recent Trends Over the span of its current three-match winning streak, Liberty is hitting .297 as a team, averaging 14.5 kills, 3.09 blocks and 15.45 digs per set. During that time, Lillie Happel is averaging 4.82 kills per set at a .339 pace, while Jade Craycraft averages 10.9 assists per set. Kendle Rollins (1.55 bps), Craycraft (1.36) and Loren Thomas (1.36) all record over one block per set over the last three matches. The Lady Flames have had a balanced effort in the back row in their last three matches, as six different Liberty players (Craycraft, Happel, Gabrielle Shipe, Allie Reynolds, Becca Haraf and Ansley Gebben) have at least one 10-dig match during that time.
1-2 Punch Liberty's top two outside hitters, Caroline Douglas and Lillie Happel, have both recorded 10 or more kills in each of the last four matches. In their most recent contest, Happel led with 26 kills and Douglas added 15 kills at Radford.
Leading the Pack Liberty currently sits atop the Big South statistical charts in hitting percentage (.252), assists per set (11.73) and aces per set (1.52). Liberty's aces rank 22nd in the latest NCAA Division I national statistics listings. Caroline Douglas paces the Big South in kills per set (3.49), while teammate Loren Thomas leads the league with a .327 hitting percentage.
Liberty vs. High Point All-Time Series: Liberty leads, 27-7 Current Series Streak: Liberty W2 Last Meeting: Liberty 3, High Point 0 (Oct. 6, 2012 - Lynchburg, Va.)
High Point (18-8, 7-3 Big South) has won four straight matches, and is now one match behind Liberty for first place in the Big South. The Panthers, who are 8-2 at home, rank either first or second in the Big South in five categories. Courtney Johnk is second in the Big South with 3.40 kills per set, followed by Chelsea Davis, who ranks sixth at 2.91 kills per set. Maddie Simpson ranks second in the league with 9.74 assists per set, and Jamie McDonald is second in blocks (1.06 bps) and hitting percentage (.312). Jason Oliver, in his fourth season at High Point, has a 66-59 career record. He led the Panthers to the 2010 Big South championship, and an NCAA Tournament appearance. Liberty leads High Point, 27-7, in the all-time series, including 11-7 under Pinder and 5-3 when Pinder's Lady Flames meet Oliver's Panthers. The home team has won each of the last four regular-season meetings between Liberty and High Point. Liberty and High Point entered their first meeting this year, Oct. 6 at the Vines Center, in a tie for first place in the Big South, before the Lady Flames posted a 3-0 sweep of the Panthers. Loren Thomas led the Lady Flames with 12 kills and five blocks.
Liberty vs. Campbell All-Time Series: Liberty leads, 11-3 Current Series Streak: Liberty W6 Last Meeting: Liberty 3, Campbell 0 (Oct. 5, 2012 - Lynchburg, Va.)
Campbell is 7-20, including 0-10 in conference play, and the Camels have lost nine matches in a row. Libero Mallorie Cubillos ranks fourth in the Big South with 3.93 digs per set. Cubillos, along with Lindsey Coats, has been named Big South Defensive Player of the Week this year. Sam Zuber is ranked fifth in the Big South with 0.36 aces per set, while Heather Wilson averages 7.80 assists per set. Fifth-year head coach Leigh Mullins is 54-93 at the helm of Campbell, and 99-176 in nine seasons as a Division I head coach. She previously coached at Northwestern State. The Lady Flames hold an 11-3 all-time record against Campbell, including 6-1 as Big South opponents. Liberty has won each of the last six meetings between the two teams. Campbell's last win over Liberty came Oct. 7, 1997 in Buies Creek, N.C. Liberty posted a 3-0 sweep of Campbell, Oct. 5 at the Vines Center, out-hitting the Camels, .312 to .106, while leading in digs, 49-33. Caroline Douglas led all players with 16 kills at a .464 clip, while Gabrielle Shipe collected a match-high 20 digs.
Fantastic Fridays Liberty volleyball is 11-1 in matches played on Friday this season. The Lady Flames have won 11 straight Friday contests since falling to UNCG, 3-2, in the season opener on Friday, Aug. 24 in Durham, N.C.
As Close as it Gets In Liberty's last trip to Campbell, Oct. 8, 2011, the Lady Flames won each set by exactly two points over the Camels (26-24, 25-23, 30-28).
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