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Lady Flames Ready for ASUN Weekend at North Alabama, NJIT

September 26, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Lady Flames Ready for ASUN Weekend at North Alabama, NJIT

Complete Match Notes

Liberty (5-10, 2-0), currently in a four-way tie for first after its first week ever of ASUN play, remains on the road. The Lady Flames will play at fellow ASUN newcomer North Alabama (2-9, 0-2) on Friday at 8 p.m. ET before heading to Newark, N.J., to take on NJIT (2-14, 0-2), Sunday at 1 p.m.

In all, 16 out of Liberty's first 17 matches this season have been on the road. The Lady Flames will play at home for the entire month of October, a program-record nine-match homestand.

Liberty will face both opponents for the first time ever in volleyball. The Lady Flames' last trip to Alabama was Oct. 1, 2006, when they fell to then Big South opponent Birmingham-Southern in three sets. This will be Liberty's first time playing in New Jersey since competing in the 1998 Rutgers Invitational

Starting Rotation
1. Liberty opened its ASUN era with a pair of sweeps at North Florida and Jacksonville last weekend. The team outhit its opponents, .349-.118, while posting 3.0 blocks per set. Liberty is off to a 2-0 start to league play for the first time since opening the 2015 Big South schedule at 4-0.

2. Trevor Johnson takes over the program after spending the last two seasons as top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Texas A&M. A very successful head coach at the NAIA level, he went 86-14 combined at Concordia (Calif.), leading the men's team to the 2013 NAIA national title.

3. Junior Casey Goodwin, the 2018 Fan-Voted ASUN Preseason Player of the Year, was named ASUN Player of the Week on Monday. She averaged 4.83 kills per set last weekend, hitting .500 while also adding 0.83 aces per set and 1.17 blocks per set.

4. Senior Margaret Latchford continues her climb up the program's career digs chart. With 1,547 career digs, she needs 21 more digs to enter sixth in program history. She has posted a season-high 23 digs twice this season, giving her 21 career 20-dig matches.

5. Sophomore Jenna Culhan scored 12 kills at a .440 pace on Saturday against Jacksonville, continuing her strong play of late. After reaching double figures in kills just twice over her first 34 career matches, she has scored 10 or more kills in six out of the last eight contests.

6. Junior Hannah Morris has led the Lady Flames in assists in 14 out of Liberty's 15 matches this season. She averaged 11.33 assists per set last weekend. Her 40 assists at North Florida are for the most Liberty assists in a three-set match in the last four seasons.

7. Liberty's .387 hitting percentage at Jacksonville was a season high, and the highest hitting percentage by the team since hitting .457 vs. UNC Asheville on Nov. 17, 2017. The last time Liberty hit .300 or better in back-to-back matches was Nov. 4-5, 2016.

Team Notes
- Liberty hit .591 (14-1-22) during set two at North Florida, last Friday. It was the most efficient set for the team since hitting .667 (12-0-18) during set two against Presbyterian, Nov. 4, 2016.

- Liberty swept Virginia 3-0 on Sept. 11 at the Vines Center, its first sweep of the Cavaliers since 1979. The Lady Flames will next play at home on Oct. 5 against Lipscomb.

- With Kainah Williams' career-high 12 kills on Sept. 15 against College of Charleston, a program-record-tying eight Lady Flames have posted at least one double-digit kill match this season.

- On Sept. 8 against Colgate, Liberty placed five players (Jenna Culhan, Amelia Johnson, Kailey Macy, Victoria Baptista and Anna Gragg) in double figures in kills. It was the first time since Oct. 29, 2010 at Charleston Southern that five Lady Flames reached double digits in kills in the same match.

- Liberty trailed College of Charleston 24-19 in set three on Sept. 14 before coming all the way back to tie it at 24-all. Despite losing the set 26-24, it marked the most consecutive set points (five) fought off by the Lady Flames in a match under the current 25-point scoring system.

- Liberty led the Big South in blocks per set in both 2016 (2.45) and 2017 (2.15). The Lady Flames then posted 15 blocks in a 3-2 win over Oakland on Aug. 24, the first of five 10-block matches for the team so far in 2018. Liberty recorded 12 blocks at Jacksonville, last Saturday.

- After finishing the 2017 season averaging 0.84 aces per set, Liberty's service game has improved this year, averaging 1.46 aces per set, good for third in the ASUN and 86th nationally.

- Casey Goodwin's career-high sixth ace of the match clinched set five, 18-16, against Oakland on Aug. 24, sealing Trevor Johnson's first win as head coach of the Lady Flames.

- Liberty fell to Purdue Fort Wayne, 43-41, in set one on Aug. 25. It was tied for the fourth-longest set in NCAA Division I history under the current 25-point scoring system.

- Liberty welcomes five newcomers to the roster in freshmen Madi Furtado, Lilly Kruse, Sydney Street and Aspen Thompson and transfer Amelia Johnson (North Dakota).