Scores & Schedule Close keyboard_arrow_down

Team News

Lady Flames Head to Radford for Big South Showdown, Friday

October 29, 2014  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
|   Share
Lady Flames Head to Radford for Big South Showdown, Friday

Complete Match Notes

The Liberty volleyball team (22-5) brings a 13-match winning streak and 9-0 conference record into a showdown at the Dedmon Center on Friday at 7 p.m. against defending Big South champion Radford (17-7, 7-2). The Highlanders are tied with Coastal Carolina for second place in the Big South, two matches behind the Lady Flames with five contests remaining.

Liberty is 43-27 all-time against Radford, including 26-2 in the last 28 meetings. The Lady Flames downed the Highlanders, 3-1, on Sept. 26 in both teams' conference opener.

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for Friday's match. Additionally, the Liberty-Radford contest will be available for viewing, free of charge, through live video streaming on the Big South Network.

Starting Rotation
1.   The Lady Flames swept Presbyterian and Winthrop at home last weekend, and the team is a perfect 9-0 in conference play for the first time ever. Entering this week, Liberty (22-5) was tied for the most wins among all Division I teams.

2.   The Lady Flames' current 13-match winning streak is their longest since posting a program-record 16-match winning streak in 2007.

3.   11th year head coach Shane Pinder became Liberty's all-time leader in career victories with his 199th win on Oct. 3 at Gardner-Webb. With a 207-144 career record, he is ranked fourth all-time in coaching wins among Big South volleyball coaches.

4.   Junior Jade Vorster was named Big South Player of the Week on Tuesday. She posted five solo blocks last week, and with 26 solo blocks this season has broken Loren Thomas' program single-season rally-scoring record of 25 solo blocks, set in 2011.

5.   Freshman Sirena Vorster was named Big South Freshman of the Week, Tuesday. Vorster had her best attacking week, averaging 3.83 kills per set at a .462 pace. She sent down a career-high 14 kills on Friday against Presbyterian, hitting .650.

6.   Senior Gabrielle Shipe has collected 1,628 career digs, and needs 12 more digs to pass Theresa Bream (1987-90) into third all-time in program history.

7.   Junior setter Caila Stapleton paces all conference players with 10.88 assists per set. On Saturday, she passed 1,000 assists for the season, becoming the sixth Liberty setter since 2001 to record 1,000 or more assists in a single year.

Jade Vorster Named Big South Player of the Week
Junior middle blocker Jade Vorster was named Big South Player of the Week, Tuesday, after averaging 2.17 kills (.407) and 1.50 blocks per set during Liberty's 2-0 week.

Vorster's five solo blocks last weekend helped her break Loren Thomas' (2011) single-season rally-scoring record for solo blocks, at 26. Vorster has posted 126 total blocks, already ranking third in program history for a single season since 2001.

For the season, Vorster is ranked second in the Big South in blocks per set overall (1.22) and in conference play (1.30).

Sirena Vorster Named Big South Freshman of the Week

Middle blocker Sirena Vorster was tabbed Big South Freshman of the Week on Tuesday. She led the team with 3.83 kills per set at a .462 pace from the middle hitter position as Liberty downed Presbyterian and Winthrop.

She sent down a career- and match-high 14 kills during Liberty's 3-0 sweep of Presbyterian on Friday, hitting .650. Her .650 hitting percentage was the best by a Lady Flame this season, and the seventh highest in the program's rally-scoring history.

Shipe Closing In
Senior Gabrielle Shipe paces the team with 4.44 digs per set on the season. With 1,628 career digs, she needs 12 more digs to pass Theresa Bream (1987-90) into third place all-time at Liberty in career digs.

1,000 Kill Club
Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas became the 15th member of Liberty's 1,000-kill club on Oct. 18 at Coastal Carolina. She has recorded 1,019 career kills in 269 sets played, good for a career average of 3.79 kills per set.

Douglas has registered 10 20-kill matches this season. Jennifer Belk holds the program rally-scoring record for most 20-kill matches in a single season, with 11 20-kill contests during the 2004 season.

Dishing it Out
Junior Caila Stapleton leads the Big South with 10.88 assists per set. In conference play, she is averaging 11.70 assists per set, the highest average in the Big South.

On Saturday against Winthrop, Stapleton became the sixth Liberty setter in rally-scoring history to record a 1,000-assist season.

Stapleton has totaled 40 or more assists during 11 straight matches, from Sept. 20 through Oct. 18. It marked Liberty's longest streak of 40-assist matches since Kristin Colson's program rally-scoring record streak of 13 40-assist contests in 2004.

20-20 Vision
On Oct. 18 at Coastal Carolina, Caroline Douglas recorded 22 kills and Hannah Weidner sent down a career-high 20 kills. It was the first time since Nov. 12, 2011 at UNC Asheville that two Lady Flames recorded 20 kills in the same match. That night, Lillie Happel had 21 kills and Loren Thomas scored 20 kills.

Impact Freshman
Right-side attacker Hannah Weidner is a three-time recipient of Big South Freshman of the Week honors. She scored a career-high 20 kills on Oct. 18 at Coastal Carolina.

Weidner is ranked seventh in the Big South with 3.35 kills per set. She reached double figures in kills in 19 straight matches, from Sept. 6 through Oct. 18, tying Jennifer Belk's (2004) program rally-scoring record for consecutive double-digit kill matches.

Liberty vs. Radford (Liberty leads all-time series, 43-27)
Current Series Streak: Liberty W1 (Liberty 3, Radford 1 - Sept. 26, 2014)
Radford Head Coach: Marci Jenkins (2011, 2013 Big South Coach of the Year)
Coaching Record at Radford: 107-109 (7th Year)
Liberty Head Coach: Shane Pinder (2007, 2010, 2012 Big South Coach of the Year)
Coaching Record: 207-144 (11th Year)

Radford (17-7, 7-2 Big South) has gone 7-1 in its last eight matches overall, and the Highlanders are tied with Coastal Carolina for second in the Big South standings. Radford is second in the conference in both aces (1.34) and opponents' hitting percentage (.166)

Senior Rachel Wiechecki, the 2013 Big South Player of the Year, leads Radford with 3.49 kills per set while pacing the conference with 0.38 aces per set. Junior Megan Short (.314) and senior Emma Deininger (.312) rank second and third, respectively, in the Big South in hitting percentage, while senior Jena Braden averages 10.04 assists per set.

Series History
Liberty holds a 43-27 overall record against Radford in volleyball. The Lady Flames had won 24 straight meetings with the Highlanders before a 3-0 Radford win, Sept. 27, 2013 at the Dedmon Center. Liberty (2011, 2012) and Radford (2013) have combined to win each of the last three Big South tournament titles.

The Lady Flames and Highlanders have met in the Big South Championship final on three occasions, with Liberty downing Radford for the title in 1999, 2001 and 2011.

Last Meeting
The Lady Flames defeated Radford, 3-1, on Sept. 26 in the Vines Center in both teams' conference opener. Liberty outhit the Highlanders, .254-.135, while holding an 87-71 advantage in digs. The win gave 11th-year head coach Shane Pinder 198 career victories, tying him for first on Liberty's career coaching wins list.

Redshirt junior Caroline Douglas sent down 21 kills, while junior Caila Stapleton recorded 48 assists and a career-high 25 digs. Radford's Rachel Wiechecki led her team with 13 kills and 20 digs.

Something Has to Give
The Lady Flames are 9-0 in true road matches this season, while Radford is 6-0 at home at the Dedmon Center. Liberty is one of eight NCAA Division I volleyball teams to currently be undefeated on the road so far this season. Florida State, at 10-0 on the road, has the most away victories without a loss.