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Liberty Volleyball Set for Key Matches at Kennesaw State, Lipscomb

October 31, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Volleyball Set for Key Matches at Kennesaw State, Lipscomb

Complete Match Notes

Liberty at Kennesaw State
Kennesaw, Ga.

Match Date: Friday, Nov. 2
Match Time: 7 p.m.
Live Video:
Live Stats: StatBroadcast

Liberty at Lipscomb
Nashville, Tenn.

Match Date: Sunday, Nov. 4
Match Time: 2 p.m. ET
Live Video: ESPN+ ($)
Live Stats: StatBroadcast

Liberty (13-13, 9-3 ASUN), in the midst of a six-match winning streak, will finish up its regular-season schedule with four straight away matches. This weekend, the Lady Flames play at defending ASUN champion Kennesaw State (20-5, 11-1) on Friday before taking on Lipscomb (15-9, 10-2) on Sunday. The first time around the conference schedule, the Lady Flames fell to Lipscomb in five sets on  Oct. 5 before falling in five sets to KSU on Oct. 7, as both matches were at the Vines Center.

These final two weeks will decide seeding for the 2018 ASUN Volleyball Championship, to be held at Kennesaw State. Only two matches separate the top four teams. KSU and FGCU are tied for first, while Lipscomb is third at 10-2 and Liberty (9-3) is currently fourth. All four top teams play against each other over the next two weeks.

Starting Rotation
1. First-year head coach Trevor Johnson needs one more win to give him 100 career wins as a collegiate head coach. During his time at Concordia (Calif.) and Liberty, he has posted a 99-27 combined record as a head coach.

2. Liberty has won its last six matches, all at home. During that stretch, the Lady Flames outhit opponents, .310-100. The Lady Flames' six-match winning streak is its longest since posting eight straight victories, Sept. 30 through Oct. 22, 2016.

3. Outside hitter Lilly Kruse was named ASUN Freshman of the Week on Monday, the first Freshman of the Week honor for a Lady Flame this season. She set new career highs in kills (8 vs. NJIT), aces (3 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore), digs (9 vs. UNA) and blocks (3 vs. UNA) in last week's matches.

4. Junior Casey Goodwin has been named ASUN Player of the Week twice this year. She scored a career-high 25 kills on Oct. 21 against North Florida, becoming the 10th Liberty player in rally-scoring history with a 25-kill match.

5. With 1,676 career digs, Margaret Latchford needs 24 more digs to become the fourth Lady Flame all-time to reach 1,700 career digs, and first since Gabrielle Shipe (2011-14) finished her career with 1,708 digs. Latchford has posted 19 double-digit matches this season, twice collecting 23 digs.

6. Junior Anna Gragg was statistically perfect on the attack last weekend, as she scored on each of her 12 attack attempts, hitting 6-0-6 against both NJIT and North Alabama. Gragg is ranked third in the ASUN in hitting percentage both overall (.353) and in conference play (.442) this season.

7. Not only is KSU's Convocation Center the site of the 2018 ASUN Volleyball Championships, it is also the site of the first collegiate matches played by Casey Goodwin, Anna Gragg and Hannah Morris. The Lady Flames opened up the 2016 season at the Kennesaw State Invitational.

Team Notes
- The Lady Flames have posted 10 or more blocks 11 times this season, tying last year's output. The Lady Flames rank 47th nationally with 2.47 blocks per set.

- Liberty has hit .300 or better six times in conference play. The Lady Flames' .242 overall hitting percentage ranks 56th in the nation.

- The Lady Flames hit a season-best .433 against North Alabama on Sunday, the sixth-highest hitting percentage in the program's rally-scoring history.

- Liberty (4-0) and FGCU (5-0) are the only two teams undefeated in ASUN away matches this year.

- Junior Anna Gragg scored a season-high 13 kills at a .619 pace against North Florida on Oct. 21, joining classmates Kainah Williams (career-high 14 kills - .619 against FGCU) and Casey Goodwin (19 kills - .684 at Jacksonville) as Lady Flames to hit .600 or better this season.

- With Kainah Williams' 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. Then, Oct.12 vs. FGCU, four Lady Flames (Johnson, Gragg, Goodwin and Kainah Williams) reached double digits.

- Jenna Culhan collected a season-high 13 digs on Oct. 5 against Lipscomb, giving Liberty seven players with at least one double-digit dig match this season.

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