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Lady Flames to Close 2009 Season at VCU

November 25, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The Lady Flames will battle the top two seeds from the CAA Tournament, this weekend at VCU.

The Lady Flames will battle the top two seeds from the CAA Tournament, this weekend at VCU.

Live Stats

The Liberty volleyball team, which reached the Big South Volleyball Championship title match for the third consecutive season, will wrap up the 2009 season this weekend. The 20-12 Lady Flames will make their second trip to VCU this year, to face the top two seeds from the CAA Tournament.

Liberty will open play at the VCU Third Degree Sportswear Thanksgiving Invitational Friday at noon, when the Lady Flames meet Delaware. The Lady Flames will then square off with host VCU for the second time this season, Saturday at 4 p.m.

Lady Flames' Upcoming Schedule
VCU Third Degree Sportswear Thanksgiving Invitational
Richmond, Va. – Siegel Center
Friday, Nov. 27
Noon – Liberty (20-12, 13-3 Big South) vs. Delaware (19-8, 12-2 CAA)
Saturday, Nov. 28
4 p.m. – Liberty at VCU (25-9, 12-2 CAA)

How to Follow the Lady Flames
Live stats will be available for both of this weekend's contests. They are accessible by clicking the "Live Stats" links at the top of this page or on the Liberty volleyball schedule/results page. They will be provided courtesy of the VCU Sports Information office.

Lady Flames' Quick Hitters
-- Head coach Shane Pinder enters the week with a career record of 104-89 in six seasons with the Lady Flames. At last week's Big South Volleyball Championship, he became the third-winningest coach in program history, passing Sue Kelly.

-- Liberty's appearance in the Big South Championship title match was the ninth in program history, tying Winthrop's conference record.

-- The Lady Flames have recorded three straight 20-win seasons, going 72-30 since the start of the 2007 campaign. Liberty's last string of at least three consecutive 20-win campaigns was a four-year run, spanning 1996 and 1999.

-- Senior setter Kallie Corbin was tabbed a second-team All-Big South selection. She will graduate as only the second Lady Flame ever to earn All-Big South honors four times (also Anthonia Akpama).

-- Junior outside hitter Nicki Scripko also equaled one of Akpama's career achievements, earning her third selection to the Big South Championship all-tournament team.

-- Scripko notched 66 kills at the conference tournament, boosting her season total to 463. That's the most kills by a Lady Flame since current assistant coach Jennifer (Belk) Vaden notched 507 kills as a senior in 2004.

-- Sophomore libero Kelly Haseman joined Scripko on the all-tournament team last weekend, after hustling her way to 33 digs in the championship match against Coastal Carolina. No Lady Flame had recorded that many digs in a match since Jessica Nelson against William & Mary on Sept. 15, 2007.

-- Haseman's 519 digs this season rank No. 2 on Liberty's rally-scoring record list and No. 4 on the program's all-time single-season list.

-- Freshman middle blocker Loren Thomas was voted to the Big South All-Freshman team, giving Liberty an All-Freshman selection for the sixth consecutive season.

-- Liberty has extended its streak to 146 straight matches with at least one ace.

Scouting Reports
-- The Fightin' Blue Hens are coached by Bonnie Kenny, who owns a 144-104 record in her eight seasons at Delaware. She is 484-356 in 25 total seasons as a collegiate head coach.

-- Like Liberty, the Blue Hens captured back-to-back conference titles in 2007 and 2008, shared the CAA regular-season championship this year and entered the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed. Delaware's quest for a third consecutive CAA title was derailed in Monday's semifinal round, when George Mason edged the Blue Hens, 3-2.

-- Senior libero Stephanie Barry and junior setter Jess Chason were both first-team All-CAA selections. Chason was additionally tabbed the CAA Setter of the Year.

-- Senior middle blocker Michelle LaLonde, who leads the Fightin' Blue Hens with 94 blocks, hails from Wooster High School in Wooster, Ohio. Current Wooster senior Jade Craycraft recently signed a national letter of intent to join the Lady Flames next season.

-- Liberty owns a 5-2 record in the all-time head-to-head series against Delaware. The teams' most recent meeting ended in a 3-1 Lady Flames road victory over the Fightin' Blue Hens, Sept. 23, 2000.

-- The Rams are coached by James Finley, who is 94-73 in his fifth season at the helm.

-- VCU hosted the CAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed, Monday and Tuesday. The Rams reached the championship match and owned a 2-0 lead against George Mason, before the Patriots rallied for a 3-2 victory, denying VCU its first CAA title since 2005.

-- A school-record five Rams earned conference honors this season, highlighted by 6-1 freshman outside hitter Michala Kvapilova. She was honored as the 2009 CAA Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the first-team All-CAA roster.

-- VCU swept Liberty, 3-0, Oct. 27 at the Siegel Center. Junior outside hitter Mariel Frey paced the Rams with a double-double (10 kills, 10 digs), while 6-5 junior middle blocker Kelsie Clegg had nine blocks. Karyl Bacon led the Lady Flames with 10 kills and 14 digs.

-- Liberty leads the all-time series with VCU, 13-10, but the Rams have won four straight contests against the Lady Flames. Liberty's most recent win over its Commonwealth rival was a 3-0 sweep at the Vines Center, Oct. 26, 2004.