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Liberty Drops 3-0 Decision in 2009 Finale

November 28, 2009  Richmond, Va.  RSS
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Rebecca Warren led all players with a career-high 14 kills during Saturday's match at VCU.

Rebecca Warren led all players with a career-high 14 kills during Saturday's match at VCU.

Liberty sophomore Rebecca Warren made the most of her first career start at outside hitter, notching a career-high 14 kills and two aces at VCU, Saturday afternoon. However, the host Rams dealt the Lady Flames a 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-23) setback in a VCU Third Degree Sportswear Thanksgiving Invitational contest at the Siegel Center.

The Lady Flames, who started one junior, four sophomores and a pair of freshmen, wrap up the 2009 season at 20-14.

CAA regular-season champion VCU boosts its record to 27-9, after posting its second victory over Liberty this year.

Consecutive Mariel Frey kills punctuated an early 4-0 burst, which put the Rams ahead for good in the opening set. Kelsie Clegg later wrapped up a 25-13 decision with her second kill of the stanza.

VCU hit .417 in the session, paced by setter Lenka Melicharkova's three kills and seven assists. Frey added three kills of her own and served up two of the Rams' three aces. For the Lady Flames, rookies Hannah Anderson (OH, Rocklin, Calif.) and Loren Thomas (MB, Ocoee, Fla.) put down two kills apiece.

The Rams owned a 22-14 lead in the middle set, before Liberty made a furious rally attempt. Warren (L/DS, Virginia Beach, Va.) initiated an 8-2 surge with a kill and consecutive service aces. Classmate Courtney Boggs (S, Marysville, Ohio) then finished the run when her back-to-back kills cut VCU's lead to 24-22. However, the home team closed out the set on the next rally, when Kristin Boyd recorded a kill.

Frey and Ivana Rich each totaled four kills in set two, while Rich added a set-high three blocks for the Rams. Warren led all players with five kills and added a pair of aces. Boggs hit .750 with three kills and 11 assists during the session.

The third and final set was the most competitive of the afternoon, as the lead changed hands three times and the score was deadlocked on nine occasions. Warren's eighth kill of the set put Liberty in front, 23-22. However, VCU scored the next three points on kills by Michala Kvapilova and Clegg and then a combined block by the duo, putting the finishing touches on a hard-fought 25-23 victory.

Rich paced VCU's balanced attack with five kills in the final stanza, while Melicharkova hit .800 with four kills, 14 assists and a trio of digs. Warren's eight kills paced all players in the set, and Kelly Haseman (So., L/DS, Three Rivers, Mich.) added a matching number of digs.

On the afternoon, VCU hit .286 as a team, bettering Liberty's .208 attack percentage. The Rams also led the way in kills (43-35), aces (7-3) and blocks (9-4). The Lady Flames owned the advantage in digs, by a 45-39 margin.

Warren, whose 14 kills paced all players in the match, also came up with a career-high six digs.

Fellow sophomore Haseman finished with a match-high 16 digs, pushing her year-end total to 560. The Michigan native now ranks No. 2 on Liberty's single-season record list, trailing only Theresa Bream's 686 digs in 1990.

Anderson contributed seven kills, while Claire Jacobsma (So., RS, Midland, Texas) matched a career high with five kills for the Lady Flames.

Liberty setter Boggs ended the contest with 27 assists and eight digs.

Rich was the only Ram to notch double-digit kills, hitting .417 with 10 kills. Frey added nine kills and three service aces.

Melicharkova hit .538 with seven kills, a match-high 29 assists and seven digs. Defensively, Clegg led all players with five blocks and Kvapilova paced the victors with 11 digs.