Complete Match Notes Liberty opens a big week of home matches Tuesday, hosting Virginia of the ACC at 7 p.m. in the Vines Center. It will be the first time since Oct. 10, 2000 that the Lady Flames have hosted UVa. The Lady Flames (11-5) are 7-2 in their last nine matches, while Virginia (7-5) has gone 1-5 since opening the season with a 6-0 record. Liberty will host defending conference champion Radford on Friday night at 7 p.m. Virginia is 30-2 all-time against Liberty, with the Cavaliers winning each of the last 30 meetings since the Lady Flames won twice during the 1979 season.
How to Follow the Lady Flames Live stats will be available for Tuesday's match, courtesy of Liberty athletics communications. The match will also be available for viewing through an LFSN broadcast, available through the Big South Network and ESPN3.com. Ray Jones will call the play-by-play, with Erin Hagen serving as color analyst.
Starting Rotation 1. Liberty went 2-1 at the Bruin Classic last weekend in Nashville, Tenn., completing the first half of the regular-season schedule at 11-5. Caroline Douglas, Hannah Weidner and Gabrielle Shipe were all named to the Bruin Classic All-Tournament team. 2. Douglas leads the team and ranks second in the Big South with 3.95 kills per set. She has posted four double-doubles in a row. Douglas and freshman Hannah Weidner have both reached double-digit kills in each of the team's last nine matches. 3. The Lady Flames collected a season-high 94 digs on Saturday against Wright State, with Shipe totaling a match-high 27 digs. Shipe ranks eighth in program history with 1,452 career digs and needs 28 more digs to vault into sixth all-time at Liberty. 4. Junior Jade Vorster ranks third in the Big South with 1.13 blocks per set. She posted her second nine-block match of the season, Saturday against Wright State. 5. Junior Caila Stapleton is ranked second in the Big South with 10.30 assists per set. She has totaled four double-doubles this season, tying Caroline Douglas for the team lead. Freshman Anna Willey recorded her first career double-double on Friday against Northern Kentucky with career highs of 35 assists and 10 digs. 6. At 196-144, Liberty's 11th year head coach Shane Pinder is two wins away from tying Chris Phillips (1992-97, 99-03) for the most wins in program history. Phillips went 198-174 during her Liberty tenure.
Dominant Douglas Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas recorded 24 kills on Saturday at Belmont, her third 20-kill match of the season. Over the last nine matches, Douglas averaged 4.45 kills per set, while hitting .313. She currently ranks second in the Big South with 3.95 kills per set. Douglas has posted four straight double-doubles, the longest streak of double-doubles by a Lady Flame since Jade Craycraft recorded five straight double-doubles in 2013.
Blocking the Way Junior Jade Vorster leads the Lady Flames and ranks third in the Big South with 1.13 blocks per set. She recorded her second nine-block match of the season, Saturday versus Wright State and added five blocks against Belmont. Freshman Sirena Vorster totaled a season-high six blocks at Belmont, while Caroline Douglas, Hannah Weidner, Nzea McQuitery and Anna Willey all have at least one five-block match so far this season.
Dig In Liberty recorded a season-high 94 digs on Saturday in a 3-2 win over Wright State. The Lady Flames' 94 digs were the most by the team since Nov. 12, 2011, when Liberty totaled 94 digs at UNC Asheville. Senior Gabrielle Shipe recorded a team-high 27 digs against Wright State followed by career highs from Caroline Douglas (18 digs) and Kate Corson (14), and a season high from Allie Reynolds (tied - 12).
Climbing the Charts Senior Gabrielle Shipe ranks fourth in the Big South with 4.54 digs per set. She is ranked eighth in program history with 1,452 career digs. Shipe needs 28 more digs to vault into sixth place all-time at Liberty (Karyl Bacon – 2007-10: 1,472; and Erin McKeown - 2000-03: 1,479). Shipe started the season ranked 15th all-time at Liberty. Weidner on a Roll Freshman Hannah Weidner, a two-time Big South Freshman of the Week, is ranked fifth in the Big South with 3.43 kills per set. Weidner has posted 10 straight 10-kill matches, and reached double figures in kills in 15 out of the Lady Flames' first 16 matches. Caroline Douglas was the last Lady Flame to post 10 straight 10-kill matches, doing so from Oct. 12 through Nov. 15, 2012. Weidner and Douglas have both reached double-figures in each of Liberty's last nine matches. Big Match Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas scored a career-high 29 kills last Friday against Central Connecticut. Her 29 kills were the most by a Lady Flame since Rachel Harnack recorded a program rally-scoring-record 40 kills at Coastal Carolina, Nov. 10, 2001. The Lady Flames recorded 77 kills versus Central Connecticut, the most by Liberty in a single match under the current, 25-point rally-scoring format that was adopted in 2008.
Dishing it Out Junior Caila Stapleton is ranked second in the Big South with 10.30 assists per set. She dished out a career-high 63 assists against Central Connecticut on Sept. 12. Her 63 assists were the most by a Lady Flame since Courtney Boggs had 64 at UNC Asheville, Nov. 7, 2008. Stapleton posted her fourth career double-double, Saturday at Belmont, with 49 assists and 14 digs. Freshman Anna Willey recorded her first career double-double on Friday against Northern Kentucky, posting career highs of 35 assists and 10 digs.
Serving Up Aces The Lady Flames average 1.13 aces per set. Gabrielle Shipe leads the team with 14 aces, followed by Caila Stapleton at 13 and Sirena Vorster at 12. Shipe, Vorster and Kate Corson all have one three-ace match this season.
Liberty vs. Virginia All-Time Series: Virginia leads, 30-2 Last Meeting: Virginia 3, Liberty 2 (Sept. 15, 2012 - Charlottesville, Va.) Last Meeting in Lynchburg: Virginia 3, Liberty 2 (Oct. 10, 2000) Last Liberty Win: Liberty 2, Virginia 0 (Nov. 1, 1979)
Virginia (7-5) opened the season at 6-0, but has won just one of its last six matches. The Cavaliers hit .258 as a team so far this year. Kayla Sears averages 3.28 kills per set, while Jasmine Burton adds 3.10 kills per set. Tori Janowski posts 2.85 kills per set, and has served up 19 aces. Lauren Fuller leads the team with 10.46 assists per set, while Natalie Bausback averages 1.15 blocks. Fuller was named to the 2013 All-ACC second team, while Janowski and Burton were third team all-conference selections last year. Virginia leads the all-time series, 30-2, over the Lady Flames. The Lady Flames won the first two meetings, but the Cavaliers have won the last 30 meetings in a row. The last time Liberty hosted UVa in volleyball was Oct. 10, 2000, when the Cavaliers downed the Lady Flames, 3-2.
Last Meeting Liberty took a 2-0 lead over Virginia on Sept. 15, 2012, before the Cavaliers rallied to win the match, 3-2, in Charlottesville, Va. The Lady Flames totaled 13 blocks. Going into that match, Liberty had won 14 out of its last 15 five-set matches. Ansley Gebben led the Lady Flames with 15 kills, while Caroline Douglas contributed 14 kills and Gabrielle Shipe collected 22 digs. Virginia's Tori Janowski scored a match-high 25 kills to go with 30 assists, while Kayla Sears contributed 18 kills.
Home Cooking Recently, Liberty has held a significant home-court advantage at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames are 21-4 (.840) in their last 25 home matches and 42-8 (.840) in their last 50 home contests. Liberty is 79-27 (.745) at home under 11th-year head coach Shane Pinder. This year's senior class has gone 27-5 (.844) at the Vines Center.
Sibling Rivalry Sisters Jade and Sirena Vorster both joined the Lady Flames this year, the first sisters since Kirstyn and Alysson Sanders in 2007 to play for Liberty in the same season. On Virginia's side of the net are twins, juniors Lauren and Manon Fuller. Lauren Fuller transferred to Virginia from Arizona prior to last season, while Jade Vorster transferred to Liberty this year after starting for two years at Hawai'i.
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