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Liberty's School-Record Eighth-Straight Sweep Gives Pinder Win No. 50

October 23, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Carmen Streeper helped Liberty wrap up its eighth-straight sweep, tallying two kills, two digs and an ace during the third and final game, Tuesday evening.

Carmen Streeper helped Liberty wrap up its eighth-straight sweep, tallying two kills, two digs and an ace during the third and final game, Tuesday evening.

Three-time reigning Big South Freshman of the Week Nicki Scripko got Liberty's offense started by hitting .900 with nine kills in the opening game against Norfolk State, Tuesday evening at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames never slowed down, claiming their school-record eighth-consecutive 3-0 (30-11, 30-17, 30-14) sweep, and clinching win No. 50 of head coach Shane Pinder's career.

Liberty, now 18-7 on the season, has won eight-straight matches overall and five-consecutive tilts at the Vines Center. The Lady Flames' longest streak of consecutive sweeps prior to Tuesday was a seven-match string in 1979, under head coach Brenda Bonheim. Meanwhile, Norfolk State falls to 5-23 overall.

Scripko (RS/OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) opened the match with a kill, but the Lady Flames had trouble shaking the Spartans in the early going. A Vanessa Faircloth kill made the score 6-6, the fourth deadlock of the opening game. Liberty notched eight of the next 10 points, though, including a trio of Scripko kills, to take control of the game, 14-8.

Extended serving runs by a pair of Liberty freshmen then sealed game one. Scripko served for five-straight points, before Karyl Bacon (OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) closed out the Lady Flames' 30-11 triumph with nine-consecutive markers. Chelaine McCarty (So., MB, Houston, Ala.) complemented Scripko's nine kills with four of her own in the opening stanza, helping Liberty hit .359 as a team.

Liberty's aggressive serving enabled the Lady Flames to take control of the second game. Kallie Corbin (So., S, Beaverton, Ore.) came up with two aces during an eight-point serving run, pushing Liberty's advantage to 9-2. Later, Scripko recorded two aces of her own, as part of a 6-0 run. By this time, the Lady Flames were up by a 20-8 margin and well on their way to a 30-17 win.

All six of Liberty's starters provided at least two kills to the game two victory, headed by Scripko's five. Lara Bartolomeo (Sr., L/DS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) came up with a game-high eight digs. Meanwhile, Chantel Cherry excelled for the visiting Spartans, hitting .375 with three kills.

Four more kills by Scripko helped Liberty open the third game with a 6-0 lead. Norfolk State never seriously threatened the rest of the evening, and the Lady Flames were able to complete the sweep in 1:08 with a 30-14 decision.

A number of Liberty's reserves contributed in game three, including Carmen Streeper (R-So., RS, Rustburg, Va.), who provided two kills, two digs and an ace on match point. Kirstyn Sanders (R-Fr., MB, Bear, Del.) also teamed with sister Alysson Sanders (R-Jr., OH, Bear, Del.) for a block during the final game.

Scripko led all players with 18 kills and hit .500 in the victory, while McCarty contributed eight kills and three blocks. Corbin, this week's Big South Player of the Week, hit .667 with five kills, 38 assists, a pair of aces, five digs and three blocks.

Bartolomeo was the lone player to reach double figures in digs on the evening, totaling 13. Jessica Nelson (R-Jr., OH, Tokyo, Japan) added seven kills and a matching number of digs.

Shardonay Blueford paced Norfolk State's attack with five kills and tied for the team lead with nine digs. Yolanda Roberts added nine digs of her own, while setter Solange Honore distributed 15 assists.

Liberty will open an important conference weekend, Friday evening at 7 p.m., when High Point (19-6, 5-2 Big South) visits the Vines Center. The Panthers, the conference's third-place team, have won 10-straight matches since dropping a 3-1 decision to the Lady Flames on Sept. 28. Neither Liberty nor High Point has lost a match in the month of October.