UNCG opens road swing with win at Davidson
DAVIDSON, NC – UNC Greensboro opened its
four-match road trip with a 3-1 victory over Davidson at Belk Arena
on Friday night. Set scores were 25-19, 12-25, 25-14,
The Spartans improved to 14-7 on the season and 6-2 in the Southern Conference, while Davidson fell to 9-13 overall and 4-5 in the SoCon. UNCG hasn't started a conference slate 6-2 since the single round-robin scheduling days of the Big South 13 years ago.
Sophomore Kayren Finney registered a .643 hitting percentage, making a match-best 10 kills off 14 total attacks with only one error. Classmate Kimiko Naito put up a team-best 20 assists. Both senior Kaitlyn Nortz and sophomore Alissa Beaudway tallied seven block assists. Meanwhile, junior Catherine Hanners kept a pair of streaks alive by recording 15 digs and one service ace. It was the 15th match in which Hanners served an ace and the 14th in which she's reached double figures in digs.
Madison Benedict and Sarabeth Peele led the Wildcats with nine kills each. Hayley Lawson had a match-best 32 assists, while Jennifer Chamblee totaled 14 digs.
UNCG came out strong in the first set, making 11 kills off 30 total attacks with only three errors for a .267 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, Davidson had 12 kills in the opening set, but committed nine errors on 37 total attacks for a .105 hitting percentage. With the set tied 4-4, a kill by Finney gave the Spartans a 5-4 edge. From that point, UNCG did not give up the lead for the remainder of the set. The Spartans eventually pushed their margin to eight as a block by Nortz and Beaudway made it 15-7. UNCG ultimately held a nine-point, 23-14 advantage as the Wildcats made an error. After the teams exchanged points, Davidson used a four-point run to cut the Spartans' lead down to five. UNCG got the final point it needed when Davidson had a service error.
However, Davidson maintained the lead throughout the entire
second set. The Wildcats hit .650 for the set (13 kills, no
errors, 20 total attacks) compared to UNCG's .037 hitting
percentage (eight kills, seven errors, 27 total attacks). The
Wildcats took an eight-point lead off a Kittery Neale kill that
made it 12-4. Although UNCG pulled to within six on two occasions,
a six-point run by Davidson allowed the Wildcats to take a 22-9
lead. The teams traded points until a kill by Jorden Benedict
gave the Wildcats the set-winner.
UNCG rebounded in the third set. The Spartans hit .464 with 15 kills off 28 total attacks and only two errors. After the teams exchanged three-point runs to start the set, UNCG used a Davidson attack error to take a 4-3 lead. The Spartans scored straight points on multiple occasions in order to gradually increase their lead. With the score 17-12, UNCG reeled off three straight points in order to take an eight-point advantage. Davidson got a pair of points to make it a 20-14 set, but a kill by Beaudway sparked a set-ending five-point run for UNCG as the Spartans took a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Spartans' strong offense continued into the fourth set as UNCG hit .545 (13 kills, one error, 22 total attacks). Although a pair of ties occurred early in the fourth set, UNCG exploded six-straight points to take a 12-4 lead as Nortz had a kill that started the run. UNCG ultimately used four different runs to put away the set. Two consecutive Davidson attack errors gave UNCG a 15-6 advantage. Meanwhile, a Finney kill started a three-point run that resulted in the Spartans going up 18-7. Following a kill from Davidson's Christine Perzinski, Finney recorded another kill that was the first of four-straight points for UNCG. The Spartans ultimately got the final three points of the set off a Wildcat service error and kills from junior Branagan Fuller and Nortz en route to winning the fourth set and the match.
UNCG continues with its four-match road swing on Monday when the Spartans are at Georgia Southern. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m. from Hanner Fieldhouse.
UNC Greensboro def. Davidson 25-19,12-25,25-14,25-10
UNC Greensboro (14-7,6-2) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Kayren Finney 10-0-4; Luciana Shafer 9-0-1; Kaitlyn Nortz 7-1-7; Alissa Beaudway 6-0-7; Branagan Fuller 6-0-0; Billi Baker 4-0-2; Kimiko Naito 2-0-0; Catherine Hanners 1-1-0; Caley Redden 1-0-0; Lisa Fawell 1-0-0; Totals 47-2-11.0. (Assists) - Kimiko Naito 20; Lisa Fawell 13. (Dig leaders) - Catherine Hanners 15; Branagan Fuller 6.
Davidson (9-13, 4-5) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Madison Benedict 9-0-3; Sarabeth Peele 9-1-0; Christine Perzinski 8-1-2; Kittery Neale 7-0-4; Jorden Benedict 5-0-2; Hayley Lawson 1-0-3; Totals 39-2-7.5. (Assists) - Hayley Lawson 32. (Dig leaders) - Jennifer Chamblee 14; Christine Perzinski 9.