Athletics News

January 11, 2013
  • Liberty Flames football on the field.
  • Liberty celebrates a Big South Conference football championship.
    Liberty celebrates a Big South Conference football championship.
  • Liberty Flames volleyball in action.
  • Liberty Flames women's cross country in action.
  • Liberty Flames women's hockey in action.
  • Liberty Flames men's soccer in action.
  • Liberty Flames field hockey in action.
  • Liberty Flames archery in action.


Liberty won its fifth Big South Conference championship in the last six years. The Flames finished with a 6-5 overall record (5-1 BSC), the team’s seventh-straight winning season.

A 33-14 win over VMI capped Flames Head Coach Turner Gill’s first season at Liberty and pushed the Big South title into a three-way tie. Coastal Carolina (7-4, 5-1 BSC) and Stony Brook (9-2, 5-1 BSC) shared the crown with Liberty. Coastal earned the automatic bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs based on a series of conference tiebreakers.

This year’s senior class finished their careers at Liberty as the fourth winningest class in program history (29-15) with three Big South titles (2009, 2010, and 2012) and a 20-4 Big South record.

For the second year in a row, Liberty wide receiver Pat Kelly was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Football Division I first team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). This is the top collegiate academic honor that an NCAA student-athlete can earn.

The senior has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA in his pursuit of an exercise science degree. He is the second Liberty student-athlete to be named to multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America first-team listings and the 18th student-athlete in athletics department history to be named to the lineup.

Women’s Volleyball

The Lady Flames volleyball team won its conference-record seventh BSC title with a 3-1 finals victory over Coastal Carolina.

Liberty entered the conference tournament as the top seed after posting a 22-7 (12-2 BSC) regular season record. The Lady Flames have won a program-record 21 conference home matches in a row.

The season ended for the Lady Flames in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball National Championship after a hard-fought loss to No. 8 Minnesota. Liberty fell in three straight sets, but pushed the final set to 34-32, the Lady Flames’ longest set since the 25-point rally-scoring format began in 2008.

Cross Country

Liberty swept the Big South team titles at the Big South Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships in October.

Redshirt senior Jennifer Klugh won her third consecutive Big South women’s individual crown. Klugh went on to place sixth in the women’s 6K race at the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships, qualifying for nationals. She led the Lady Flames to finish 15th out of 37 teams. The men’s team finished seventh out of 34 squads, their best finish since 2008.

At nationals, Klugh wrapped up her stellar collegiate career by finishing well within the top half of the 253 women’s finishers in the 6K race, her first NCAA national meet appearance. She marked a 93rd-place finish.


The Liberty Flames archery team brought home national titles in two events at the U.S. Collegiate Archery Association 3-D Archery National Championships in Columbia, Mo., Oct. 19-21.

More than 100 archers representing 19 schools took part in the three-day competition.

This was Liberty’s second time at nationals, after the Flames claimed titles in three events last year.

Freshmen Ian Rigney and Robert Castello teamed with senior Alex Blake to win the Men’s Team Compound title, defeating Cumberland University in the final.

Rigney, of Gretna, Va., claimed the title in the Individual Men’s Compound Division, making him the second-straight Liberty archer to do so. Blake, who finished third, won the title last year.

Women’s Hockey

The Lady Flames Division I hockey team capped a hard-fought fall season by earning the top spot in the American Collegiate Hockey Association rankings going into Christmas break, improving upon its previous third-place rank.

Liberty (14-1-0) concluded the 2012 block of its season on a six-game winning streak, outscoring opponents 26-4.

The Lady Flames are currently playing through the second half of their season, eyeing the ACHA national tournament March 6-10 in Washington, D.C. Follow the team at

Men’s Soccer

Before falling in the Big South Conference Championship quarterfinals, the Flames men’s soccer team went unbeaten in nine-straight games.

Liberty, defending BSC champions, earned the No. 3 seed in the tournament after posting a 6-1-3 conference record.

Flames defender Greg White was named to the 2012 Big South men’s soccer all-conference first team. Forward Kyle Breitmeyer, defender Uriah Bentick, and midfielder Richard Nyarko received second team recognition.

Field Hockey

The Lady Flames won the NorPac Eastern Division title in its first season of competition in the conference. The crown capped a program record six-straight wins and a 14-5 (7-1 NorPac) regular season record.

Liberty extended its record-breaking win-streak to eight in the NorPac Tournament, where the No. 1 seeded Lady Flames beat Pacific 2-1 in an overtime thriller and then Davidson in the semifinals 3-1. Liberty lost 3-0 to Stanford in the title game.

Liberty freshmen Natalie Barr and Sarah Gipe, along with head coach Jodi Murphy, were awarded NorPac season honors at the NorPac Field Hockey Banquet. Barr collected the East Division Offensive Player of the Year award, while Gipe earned the Maria Whitehead Rookie of the Year honor. Murphy was tabbed Co-Coach of the Year with Stanford’s Tara Danielson.

Barr was also named to the 2012 Longstreth/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I All-South Region second team.


Members of the Liberty Flames triathlon team competed on the world stage at the World Age Group Triathlon Championships Oct. 14-22 in Auckland, New Zealand.

More than 2,500 of the world’s best amateur athletes represented more than 40 countries in their respective age groups at the competition, part of the International Triathlon Union Triathlon Series Grand Final.

Parker Spencer, a senior from Lynchburg, Va., finished eighth in the 20-24 Sprint Race completing the course in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 1 second. Spencer finished only 3 minutes behind winner Michael Parsons from Great Britain, and was the top American finisher in the race.

Joseph Anderson, the only American competing in the 20-24 Olympic Race, finished 42nd in 2:24:54. Anderson came into the event off of a banner fall collegiate season, winning all three of his races, including the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Triathlon Conference championship in Columbia, Md., Oct. 7.

Beth Frackleton, head coach of the Flames triathlon team, competed in the 50-54 Sprint Race, finishing 19th in 1:29:38. Frackleton was the third American finisher in the race.

  • Follow Liberty’s 20 NCAA Division I athletics programs, as well as Club Sports and Intramurals, at

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