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Lady Flames Open Homestand with 3-0 Sweep

October 31, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Nicki Scripko's match-high 15 kills highlighted Liberty's 3-0 sweep of Presbyterian, Saturday afternoon.

Nicki Scripko's match-high 15 kills highlighted Liberty's 3-0 sweep of Presbyterian, Saturday afternoon.

Junior outside hitter Nicki Scripko helped the Liberty volleyball team open its final homestand of the season in style, Saturday afternoon at the Vines Center. Her match-high 15 kills sparked the Lady Flames to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-13) sweep of Presbyterian.

Liberty is now 15-10 overall, after extending its home winning streak to five matches. The Lady Flames also remain in second place in the Big South standings at 10-2.

Presbyterian, which lost for the third straight time on its current five-match road swing, is 9-18 overall. The Blue Hose drop to 4-8 in conference play.

Amanda Kettles helped Presbyterian get out of the gate quickly in set one, contributing two kills and a block to the visitors' 6-1 surge to open the match. Freshman Loren Thomas (MB, Ocoee, Fla.) then began to make her presence known at the net. She had five blocks and a kill during the next 12 rallies, helping Liberty close the gap.

The Lady Flames later claimed the lead for good with a 6-0 run, capped off by consecutive Brittany Pacella (R-Sr., RS, Reading, Pa.) aces. Scripko's (Fayetteville, N.C.) fifth kill of the set finished off a 25-19 Liberty victory.

Scripko led all players offensively during the opening stanza, and Thomas took care of the defense for the Lady Flames. She had a hand in all five of Liberty's blocks, as Presbyterian was limited to a -.062 team attack percentage.

The second set was tightly contested throughout, including 10 ties and four lead changes. Freshman Hannah Anderson (OH, Rocklin, Calif.) came off the bench to post a kill and a block assist during a 5-0 burst which put Liberty in front, 18-14. The Lady Flames maintained the advantage the rest of the way, and another Scripko set-ending kill sent the blue-clad home team to the locker room after a 25-21 triumph.

Scripko enjoyed her most impressive set of the contest in the second stanza, hitting .583 with half of Liberty's 16 kills. Her efforts helped the Lady Flames outhit Presbyterian, .300 to .195. Presley Mabrey's five kills paced the Blue Hose.

Liberty controlled play throughout set three, as the Lady Flames completed a 3-0 sweep. Led by Pacella's 1.000 attack percentage and four kills, the Lady Flames outhit their guests, .391 to .000. Reigning Big South Player of the Week Chelaine McCarty (Sr., MB, Houston, Ala.) combined with Anderson on a block for the final point of Liberty's 25-13 win. It was McCarty's third rejection of the final stanza.

For the afternoon, Liberty hit .258, as compared with .060 for Presbyterian. The Lady Flames also had the upper hand in service aces (6-4) and blocks (9-4), while the Blue Hose recorded 43 digs to Liberty's 38.

Scripko hit a match-high .375 and complemented her offensive statistics with eight digs and a pair of aces. McCarty was next with six kills and four blocks.

Pacella enjoyed a solid all-around performance for the Lady Flames, tallying five kills, three aces and three blocks. Thomas added five kills and a matching number of blocks, pacing all players in the latter category.

Big South Defensive Player of the Week Kelly Haseman (So., L/DS, Three Rivers, Mich.) came up with nine digs to lead the Lady Flames. Setter Courtney Boggs (So., Marysville, Ohio) posted a match-high 31 assists and six digs for the Lady Flames.

Lisa Shelley topped Presbyterian's balanced offense with nine kills, while adding seven digs. Ashley Dunlap came up with a match-leading 11 digs, while Blue Hose setter Kilee Ruppe ended with 22 assists and seven digs.

Liberty will continue its four-match homestand Friday at 7 p.m., when first-place UNC Asheville visits the Vines Center. A Lady Flames victory would be No. 100 of Shane Pinder's coaching career.

Meanwhile, Presbyterian will remain on the road next weekend. The Blue Hose will travel to Coastal Carolina for a Friday evening contest, beginning at 7 p.m.