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Liberty Set to Take On No. 5 Seed Stetson to Begin 2018 ASUN Volleyball Championship

November 13, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Complete Tournament Notes

ASUN newcomer, fourth-seeded Liberty (14-16, 10-6 ASUN), opens the 2018 ASUN Volleyball Championship at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Kennesaw State's Convocation Center against No. 5 seed Stetson (16-12, 8-8). The winner takes on regular-season champion FGCU (24-6, 15-1), which enters the tournament on a 13-match winning streak, in the semifinal on Friday at 5 p.m.

Saturday's championship match will take place at 7 p.m., with all matches streaming live, for a subscription, on ESPN+.

TOP FIVE
1. First-year head coach Trevor Johnson earned his 100th career collegiate coaching victory last Thursday at Stetson. During his time at Concordia (Calif.) and Liberty, he has posted a 100-30 combined record as a head coach.

2. Liberty reached double digits in conference victories for the 13th time in program history, and first since going 11-5 in Big South play in 2016. Liberty's 10 conference wins are the most by an ASUN team in its first year in the conference since Northern Kentucky (12-6) in 2012.

3. Margaret Latchford passed Nikki Keznor (1991-94) into second place in program history with 1,748 career digs. Latchford, who collected a season-high 24 digs at Lipscomb, has posted 23 double-digit dig matches this season. She has reached double figures in each of the last eight matches.

4. Outside hitter Lilly Kruse was named ASUN Freshman of the Week on Oct. 29. On Nov. 4 at Lipscomb, she scored a career-high 17 kills and Victoria Baptista tallied a career-high 15 kills. It was the first time since Nov. 11, 2017 at Gardner-Webb that two Lady Flames scored 15 or more kills in the same match. That night, Gabrielle Vess had 17 kills and Casey Goodwin had 16.

5. Junior Casey Goodwin has been named ASUN Player of the Week twice this year and ASUN Defensive Player of the Year once. 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.

CHAMPIONSHIP QUICK HITS
1. Liberty went 37-20 all-time in Big South Volleyball Championship play, winning the tournament title seven times (1997, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012). The Lady Flames appeared in the conference final 12 times, including every season from 2007-12.

2. Liberty is looking to become the first No. 4 seed since Lipscomb in 2007 to win the ASUN tournament title, and the first team since UCF in 1992 to win the ASUN Volleyball Championship title in its first year in the conference.

Team Notes
- Liberty faced its first-round opponent, Stetson, last Thursday in DeLand, Fla., with the Lady Flames earning the 3-0 sweep. That match saw Victoria Baptista (14 kills, 13 digs) and Hannah Morris (37 assists, 11 digs) both record double-doubles. It was the second time this season that two Lady Flames recorded double-doubles in the same match this season, as Baptista and Casey Goodwin both registered double-doubles on Aug. 25 at Purdue Fort Wayne.

- The Lady Flames have taken set one from No. 1 seed FGCU in both meetings this year, before falling in five at home on Oct. 12 and dropping a four-set match to the Eagles last Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.

- The Lady Flames have posted 10 or more blocks 12 times this season, including 10 blocks at Stetson last Thursday. The Lady Flames rank 69th nationally with 2.36 blocks per set. Liberty's 259.5 blocks are the team's most blocks in a single season since posting 274 blocks in 2016. The program rally-scoring record for blocks during the 25-point rally-scoring era is 286, set in 2011.

- Liberty hit .300 or better six times in conference play. The Lady Flames' .238 overall hitting percentage ranks 65th in the nation. Liberty's program rally-scoring record for single-season hitting percentage is .250, set in 2012.

- The Lady Flames hit a season-best .433 against North Alabama on Oct. 28, the sixth-highest hitting percentage in the program's rally-scoring history.

- Liberty has already served up 50 more aces this year, 148, than the team did all of last year, when the Lady Flames registered 98 total aces on the season.