UNCG wins 3-2 over Western for first SoCon road victory since 2003
CULLOWHEE, NC – A balanced offensive attack by UNC Greensboro fueled a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Western Carolina on Sunday afternoon in Southern Conference volleyball action at Ramsey Center.
The win marked the first SoCon road victory for UNCG since beating Elon 3-1 on September 23, 2003, snapping a streak of 25 straight losses.
Five Spartans notched 10 or more kills on the afternoon, including a team-leading 18 by senior Theresa Hart. Sophomore Kaitlyn Nortz put away 16 kills and had five total blocks, while freshman Branagan Fuller added 13 kills for the Spartans. Also, sophomore Liz Benzschawel and senior Hilary Overby contributed 11 and 10 kills respectively.
UNCG (11-6, 2-3 SoCon) also had five players come up with at least 10 digs as freshman Catherine Hanners had 22 digs, while Hart (15), senior Christin Heverly (14) and freshmen Lisa Fawell and Kayleigh Knerr each had 13 digs for the Spartans. In addition, Fawell dished out 59 assists.
Brittney Johnson led Western Carolina (4-15, 0-3 SoCon) with a match-high 20 kills, while Krista Neumann put away 12 kills for the Catamounts. Katie Henneseey handed out 42 assists and Liz Randone came up with 30 digs.
UNCG, which played its second five-game match in as many days and the fifth in the last six games, won the match by scores of 31-29, 21-30, 27-30, 30-27, 16-14.
The Spartans opened up game five by taking a 10-6 lead, but Western scored four of the next five points to get within one, 11-10, after a UNCG attack error. The game wound up tied 14-14, before Overby delivered back-to-back kills to give the Spartans a dramatic 16-14 victory.
The first game was close throughout but UNCG held the lead for most of the game. The Spartans appeared poised for a win leading 28-24, but four straight points by WCU tied things at 28-28. After each team traded a point to remain tied 29-29, Nortz notched a kill and a Western attack error gave UNCG a 31-29 win.
Western ran off six straight points to take a 15-9 lead midway through game two. The lead held up until a Spartan rally tied things up 20-20, but momentum swung right back in favor of the home team as the Catamounts scored 10 of the final 11 points of game two for a comfortable 30-21 win.
UNCG led for most of game three but a Meredith Harmon kill snapped a 24-24 tie and put Western in the lead for good up 25-24. Krista Neumann put away two kills late in game three to send the Catamounts to a 30-27 win and a 2-1 advantage in the match.
In game four, UNCG gained the lead midway through and would up its lead to as much as five points, 20-15, on a Western attack error. A Hennessey kill by the Catamounts made it 27-26 in favor of the Spartans, but Hart closed out the win for UNCG with a pair of kills in the final moments of game four to send the match into a deciding fifth game with a 30-27 win.
UNCG gets a well deserved rest until Saturday when the Spartans host conference rival Appalachian State at 4 pm in Fleming Gym as part of UNCG homecoming weekend. The club also hosts SoCon foe Davidson on Sunday at 4 pm.
UNC Greensboro def. Western Carolina 31-29, 21-30, 27-30, 30-27, 16-14
UNC Greensboro (11-6, 2-3) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Theresa Hart 18-1-3; Kaitlyn Nortz 16-3-5; Branagan Fuller 13-0-1; Liz Benzschawel 11-0-5; Hilary Overby 10-0-3; Lisa Fawell 2-2-1; Catherine Hanners 0-1-0; Christin Heverly 0-1-0; Totals 70-8-10.0. (Assists) - Lisa Fawell 59. (Dig leaders) - Catherine Hanners 22; Theresa Hart 15; Christin Heverly 14; Kayleigh Knerr 13; Lisa Fawell 13.
Western Carolina (4-15, 0-3) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Brittny Johnson 20-0-6; Krista Neumann 12-0-4; Meredith Harmon 11-1-10; Heather Koontz 10-2-3; Katie Hennessey 9-1-3; Meghan Boyle 4-1-5; Kate Willard 0-1-0; Liz Rondone 0-1-0; Totals 66-7-20.0. (Assists) - Katie Hennessey 42. (Dig leaders) - Liz Rondone 30; Meghan Boyle 17; Kate Willard 12; Heather Koontz 10; Katie Hennessey 9.
- UNCG -