Spartans down Marist 3-1 to open HPU Volleyball Classic
HIGH POINT, NC – Junior Branagan Fuller had a 14-kill, 14-dig double-double and reached the 900-kill plateau as UNC Greensboro opened the HPU Volleyball Classic presented by Radisson Hotel with a 3-1 win over Marist on Friday, Sept. 5 at the Millis Center. Set scores were 25-14, 22-25, 25-15, 25-23.
With her 14 kills in Friday's match, Fuller brought her career total up to 905 kills. She now ranks 10th among UNCG's career leaders, surpassing Melanie Trexler, who had 903 kills from 1990-93.
UNCG had a solid offense throughout the first set as the Spartans hit .400, making 13 kills off 30 total attacks with only one error. The Spartans put together the set's longest run, scoring six-straight points early on en route to taking an 8-3 lead. A pair of kills from Marist's Joanna Foss pulled the Red Foxes to within three. However, Foss' back-to-back points would be the final time Marist scored consecutive points in the set as the Spartans' offense took control of the set. With UNCG up 11-7, a kill by sophomore Alissa Beaudway and back-to-back Spartan blocks pushed UNCG's lead to seven. The Spartans eventually had another three-point run to make it 20-11. Senior Kaitlyn Nortz started the run that also included a Marist error and a service ace by junior Lisa Fawell. UNCG scored the five of the next eight points, including a set-winning kill by sophomore Kayren Finney, en route to taking the first set and a 1-0 lead in the match.
The Spartans took a pair of four-point leads early in the second set, but Marist continued to fight back and eventually tied the set at 11-11 off a kill by Kelsey Schaefer. UNCG and the Red Foxes traded points before back-to-back kills by Finney and redshirt sophomore Caley Redden gave UNCG the 14-12 advantage. However, UNCG was unable to get any lead larger than two as the Red Foxes rallied and eventually took a 21-19 lead. The Spartans pulled to within one on three different occasions, but Marist scored the final two points it needed to win the set.
UNCG controlled the third set from the beginning, never relinquishing the lead during the set. The Spartans scored the set's first five points with Marist committing a pair of errors, junior Branagan Fuller serving two aces and Nortz recording a kill. The Spartans eventually led 13-4, but the Red Foxes trimmed UNCG's nine-point lead down to four with a Lindsey Schmid service ace. However, UNCG began to increase its lead, using a late four-point run to hold a 23-13 advantage. After the teams traded points, Nortz scored the final kill of the set as the Spartans took a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth set, UNCG put together another strong offensive effort as the Spartans hit .381 with 18 kills off 42 total attacks with two errors. The Spartans held several five-point leads throughout the set, including a 12-7 advantage off a Redden kill. Marist eventually cut UNCG's lead down to two before a pair of Marist attack errors and kills from Finney and Fuller put the Spartans up 21-15. However, after the UNCG and Marist traded points, the Red Foxes used a four-point run to make it 23-21 in favor of UNCG. A Fuller kill allowed the Spartans to push their lead to three, but a Foss kill and a Schmid ace pulled the Red Foxes to within one. UNCG got the final point it needed to win the set and the match as Marist had a bad set.
Nortz hit a team-best .688 with 11 kills off 16 total attacks with no errors. Finney also reached double-digits in kills, totaling 13, while also having seven block assists. Sophomore Kimiko Naito and junior Lisa Fawell put up 26 and 22 assists, respectively. Junior Kayleigh Knerr tallied 16 digs.
Foss led Marist with 17 kills, while Kelsey Schaefer hit a team-best .571 (8 kills off 14 total attacks with no errors). Dawn Jan had 39 assists and Emily Brosky came up with 15 digs.
UNCG returns to action at the High Point Volleyball Classic presented by Radisson Hotel on Saturday, Sept. 6. The Spartans face South Carolina State at 10 a.m. and East Carolina at 4 p.m. at the Millis Center.
UNC Greensboro def. Marist 25-14,22-25,25-15,25-23
Marist (1-5) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Foss, Joanna 17-0-0; Schultze, Alexandra 12-2-0; Schaefer, Kelsey 8-0-0; Burke, Allie 6-0-0; Schmid, Lindsey 3-5-0; Jan, Dawn 1-1-0; Totals 47-8-0.0. (Assists) - Jan, Dawn 39. (Dig leaders) - Brosky, Emily 15; Campbell, Cassie 11; Jan, Dawn 9
UNCG (3-2) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Branagan Fuller 14-2-1; Kayren Finney 13-0-7; Kaitlyn Nortz 11-0-2; Catherine Hanners 7-2-3; Caley Redden 6-0-3; Alissa Beaudway 4-0-5; Lisa Fawell 1-1-0; Totals 56-5-10.5. (Assists) - Kimiko Naito 26; Lisa Fawell 22. (Dig leaders) – Kayleigh Knerr 16; Branagan Fuller 14
- UNCG -