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Lady Flames Set Program Division I Record with 27th Win

November 23, 2007  Richmond, Va.  RSS
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Jessica Nelson led all players with her 19 kills and 26 digs, propelling Liberty to its 27th win of the season.

Jessica Nelson led all players with her 19 kills and 26 digs, propelling Liberty to its 27th win of the season.

The Liberty volleyball bounced back from its first setback in nearly two months with a 3-1 (30-28, 30-13, 29-31, 30-17) victory over Big East Conference foe Georgetown, Friday afternoon as part of the VCU Thanksgiving Tournament. The triumph gives the Lady Flames their most wins ever as a NCAA Division I program, 27.

Kallie Corbin (So., S, Beaverton, Ore.), Jessica Nelson (R-Jr., OH, Tokyo, Japan) and Nicki Scripko (Fr., RS/OH, Fayetteville, N.C.) all notched double-doubles for Liberty, which will enter the NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament with a 27-8 record. Meanwhile, Georgetown is 5-26 after losing for the 17th time in its last 18 games.

Nelson got off to a hot start with eight kills and eight digs in the opening game. But Liberty had to withstand a late Hoya comeback attempt to hang on to a 30-28 victory. The Lady Flames also served up five of their season-high 12 aces during game one. Three of the aces came off Corbin's right hand.

Liberty rolled to a 30-13 triumph in the second game, hitting .405 as a team. Alysson Sanders (R-Jr., OH, Bear, Del.) served for eight-straight points to break the game open, a run highlighted by three aces. Sanders also contributed offensively during the stanza, hitting .600 with three kills.

Georgetown ran out to a 14-7 lead to begin game three, before Liberty battled back. The Lady Flames tallied 12 of the next 15 points, a prolonged surge aided by Scripko's four kills and two block assists. A Scripko kill left Liberty on top, 19-17.

Two Kortney Robinson kills sparked Georgetown's ensuing 8-2 burst, which ended with the Hoyas owning a 25-21 lead. Again, the Lady Flames fought back and knotted the score at 29 apiece when Rebecca Waneka (Fr., L/DS, Colorado Springs, Colo.) picked a nice time for her first career service ace.

Robinson then closed out a 31-29 Georgetown decision with consecutive kills, two of her seven in the stanza. Her efforts helped to negate a stellar game by Scripko, who finished game three with eight kills and a .500 hitting percentage.

A solo block by Ashley Webber (Jr., MB, Lakeside, Calif.) got Liberty off to a good start in the fourth game. The Lady Flames then used four-straight kills to build a 6-2 edge and left nothing to chance the rest of the way. Liberty hit .341 for the game, which completed the Lady Flames' 3-1 victory. Corbin and McCarty (So., MB, Houston, Ala.) teamed up for a block on the final point of Liberty's 30-17 win in game four.

Nelson paced all players in kills (19) and digs (26). Her dig total enabled her to break teammate Lara Bartolomeo's (Sr., L/DS, Huntington Beach, Calif.) school rally-scoring record for digs in a season. Nelson's 517 digs are the most by a Lady Flame in 15 seasons. Nelson also set a career high in kills, as she now has 397 on the season.

Scripko's second double-double of the afternoon included 15 kills and a dozen digs. She also matched a career high with three aces and had a hand in four blocks. Corbin finished one kill shy of her third triple-double of the season. She contributed nine kills, 58 assists, four aces and 24 digs.

Middle blockers McCarty and Webber both enjoyed efficient attacking performances. McCarty hit .346 with 13 kills, while Webber hit a team-high .462 with six kills. The duo evenly split eight blocks as well.
Also contributing to Liberty's team total of 102 digs were freshmen Karyl Bacon (OH/DS, Temecula, Calif.) with 18 digs and Waneka with 11.

Georgetown also had three players finish with double-doubles. Robinson posted 14 kills and 12 digs, while Jessica Hardy contributed 12 kills and 16 digs. Setter Caitlin Boland came up with 41 assists and 10 digs for the Hoyas.

Liberty, making its first trip to the NCAA Division I Volleyball Tournament since 2001, will find out its first-round opponent, date and tournament site Sunday evening at 8 p.m., on a selection show televised by ESPNU.