UNCG in SoCon volleyball finals with 3-1 win over No. 2 Appalachian State
CHATTANOOGA, TN– The UNC Greensboro volleyball team set up a rematch of the 2006 SoCon finals with a 3-1 win over No. 2-seeded Appalachian State at the Southern Conference Tournament in Maclellan Gym on Saturday afternoon.
The Spartans will take on top-seeded College of Charleston in the final.
UNCG (20-14) was paced by double-digit kills from Katherine Hart and Branagan Fuller. Fuller tallied a team-high 17 kills while Hart contributed 15 in the win. Sophomore Lisa Fawell also tallied a double-double with 45 assists and 19 digs while senior Lauren Keiser set a new career-high with a match high 31 digs.
Appalachian State (19-14) had four players with double digit kills and was led by Lauren Swecker and Carla Durham who each had 15 kills in the loss. Dianna Thomas tallied a double-double with 13 kills and 22 digs while SoCon Player of the Year Brittany Zahn contributed 13 kills.
Game one saw Appalachian State jump out to an early 4-1 lead over the Spartans with kills by Durham, Swecker and Lorelle Rau. UNC Greensboro fought back and went on a 9-1 run capped off by a kill from Fawell. Appalachian State would counter with an 11-4 run and took a 17-14 lead on a UNCG hitting error. Lauren Keiser tied the game with a kill from Keiser and the teams battled back-and-forth until a kill from Fuller gave UNCG a 24-23 lead late in the game. The Spartans held on to take the game, 30-27.
In game two the Spartans jumped out to an 8-4 lead with kills from Fuller, Hart and middle blocker Kaitlyn Nortz but again the Mountaineers made a run and were able to tie the game at 15-15 after an attack error by Fuller. The score remained close but a 9-4 run by the Mountaineers gave them a 24-19 lead.
The Spartans again battled back and was used an 8-3 run to take a 27-26 lead, their first since midway through the game. UNCG wouldn’t trail from that point and closed the game with a kills from Fuller and Lindborg coupled with a service ace from Nortz to take a 30-28 victory and a 2-0 match lead.
UNCG jumped out to an early 10-4 lead with the help of several Mountaineer miscues and kills from Katherine Hart. The Spartans were able to keep Appalachian State at bay but the Mountaineers managed to tie the game at 21-21. The teams battled with neither team taking a large lead but Appalachian State took the 30-28 win with a kill from Thomas and a hitting error.
UNCG opened the final frame on a tear and jumped out to a 7-1 lead behind several Appalachian State errors and kills from Keiser, Nortz and freshman Kayren Finney. Appalachian State would get as close as 20-24 but UNCG used a 6-2 run to close the game and earned a berth in the finals for the second consecutive year.
The Spartans will play top-seeded College of Charleston for the Southern Conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. First serve is set for 2 pm in Maclellan Gym.
UNCG def. Appalachian State 30-27,30-28,28-30,30-22
UNCG (19-14, 11-7) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Branagan Fuller 17-1-5;Katherine Hart 15-0-2; Kaitlyn Nortz 9-3-5; Lauren Keiser 6-1-4;Kayren Finney 6-0-0; Lisa Fawell 5-0-1; Emily Lindborg 2-0-6;Catherine Hanners 1-2-0; Kimiko Naito 0-2-0; Totals 61-9-12.5.(Assists) - Lisa Fawell 45. (Dig leaders) - Lauren Keiser 31; LisaFawell 19; Catherine Hanners 16; Kimiko Naito 8; Branagan Fuller 8
Appalachian State (19-13, 14-4) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Carla Durham15-0-9; Lauren Swecker 15-0-3; Dianna Thomas 13-1-4; Brittany Zahn13-1-2; Becca Norris 4-0-1; Lorelle Rau 3-0-2; Cassie Engelgau 1-0-0;Heather Kale 0-4-0; Totals 64-6-11.0. (Assists) - Lorelle Rau 51. (Dig leaders) - Heather Kale 28; Dianna Thomas 22; Brittany Zahn 12;Lorelle Rau 10; Cassie Engelgau 8
- UNCG -