The last time
Lady Flames volleyball play final game of the season
The Lady Flames volleyball team capped off its 2015 season with an appearance in the Big South Championship Quarterfinals against No. 6 Radford. While the championship appearance would ultimately culminate in a 3-2 loss, it was an unfortunate conclusion to an otherwise solid season of play.
The Lady Flames finished their season with a 14-14 record, finishing 9-5 in Big South Conference play. They began their season with a 3-0 start against UNCG, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Hampton, before beginning a difficult month-long stretch on the road away from the Vines Center, which they would finish with a 2-8 down the stretch.
The Lady Flames won their next three at home. They concluded the season on a 6-5 stretch, which led to a 14-14 finish, giving them the No. 3 seed and the appearance in the Big South Championship Quarterfinals.
“We scheduled pretty tough,” Lady Flames Head Coach Shane Pinder said. “We tried to get us ready up front for the conference portion and then postseason hopefully. We did that again this year. We had a couple opportunities to beat some quality teams and fell a little short, so it wasn’t quite what I wanted in the preseason, but we got better as we went along.”
For their efforts this season, Liberty redshirt seniors Caroline Douglas and Jade Vorster were awarded with spots on the Big South Volleyball All-Conference first team. The honor was the third Big South All-Conference award for Douglas.
Also earning awards for the Lady Flames were sophomore Anna Willey, who was voted All-Big South honorable mention, and freshman Margaret Latchford, who earned a spot on the All-Freshman team. Jade Vorster also received All-Academic team honors.
Looking ahead to next year, the Lady Flames recently announced they will be adding six new student-athletes to the team for the 2016 season. Payton Carter, Leah Clayton, Casey Goodwin, Anna Gragg, Hannah Morris and Kainah Williams have all committed to Liberty for the 2016-17 season.
Carter was a four year starter at Fort Mill High School in Fort Hill, S.C. She earned both 2015-2016 UnderArmour All-America honorable mention and All-Region mention for her efforts this season. She has also been named to the UnderArmour Phenom Watch List.
Clayton played for Westover Christian Academy in Danville, Va. Recently she captained Westover Christian Academy’s efforts in bringing home the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) state championship.
Casey Goodwin played her four-year career in Roxboro, North Carolina, at Person High School. There she was awarded Athlete of the Week honors by Roxboro’s The Courier-Times at least once each season of her sophomore through senior years.
Anna Gragg was a four year starter at Big Sky High School in Missoula, Montana for four years. She earned second team all-conference, as well as second team all-state honors in her
Local standout Hannah Morris played her high school career for Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg. Morris has been a part of four straight conference title-earning teams as a member of LCA. She also earned first team all-conference along with first team all-state honors in both her sophomore and junior seasons, and then went on to earn first team all-region honors in her senior season.
Kainah Williams played her high school career in Spring Branch, Texas at Smithson Valley High School. There, she earned an inclusion as an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Phenom Athlete, while also earning first team All-District 25-6A honors in her junior season.
“We are excited about the future of Liberty volleyball with this incoming class,” Pinder said. “With their size, speed and skill, we have added depth and valuable competition to our gym.”
Husker is a sports reporter.