GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro went to a fifth set for the third-straight match, but Furman rallied in the fifth set to overcome the Spartans, 3-2, on Friday evening in Fleming Gymnasium. The match marked Senior Day for three special seniors, Catherine Hanners, Kayleigh Knerr and Emily Lindborg.
The Spartans fell to 16-13 on the year and 8-6 in Southern Conference play, while the Paladins improved to 21-3 this season and a perfect 13-0 in league action.
"I'm beyond proud of the way the team gutted it out for five games," said head coach Patrick Nicholas. "We had people who were sick and others with nagging injuries and the women stuck with it and showed a lot of heart for five games with the best team in the conference. Also, the fans tonight were huge and their support meant a lot to our team"
Luciana Shafer led the Spartans offensively with 14 kills and Caley Redden and Billi Baker each added 10 kills. Redden also had a career-high 24 digs to record her team-leading 13th double-double of the season. Ari Lysacek also had a double-double as she had 44 assists and 17 digs.
After UNCG took the fourth set, the two teams settled in for a fifth and final set. The Spartans took an early 2-0 lead in the set on a kill by Lindborg, but the Paladins came back to tie it and the two teams traded points for the first half. UNCG went ahead 8-7 at the crossover, but Furman responded by using an 8-2 run to finish off the match and take the final set, 15-10.
The Spartans came out sluggish in the first set and the Paladins capitalized. UNCG took an early 3-1 lead, but Furman went on a 15-5 run, capped off by Natalie Braun's kill, to take control of the set at 16-8. The Paladins continued to cruise as Carolyn Nicoletti delivered an ace to give Furman the set, 25-12.
UNCG came right back in the second to take an early 7-6 lead. The Spartans built upon their lead by going on a 10-4 run to take a 17-10 lead on one of 12 attack errors by the Paladins in the set. Furman pulled within 21-17, but the Spartans ran off the final four points to win the set, 25-17, and knot the team score at one at the break.
Furman came out in the third set and used a 4-0 run to take a 9-5 lead. The Spartans fought back to within 9-10, but the Paladins went on another 4-0 to force UNCG to use a timeout. UNCG was never able to overcome the deficit as Furman took the third set, 25-20.
With their backs against the wall, the Spartans responded by winning the fourth set. The two teams traded points until midway through the set with UNCG holding a narrow 15-14 lead. The Spartans went on an 8-1 run to take a commanding 23-15 lead in the set on a kill by Shafer. UNCG went on to win the set, 25-17, to force the fifth set.
The Spartans return to the floor on Wednesday as they travel up the mountain to Boone, N.C. to take on Appalachian State at 7 p.m. in the Holmes Center.
Furman def. UNC Greensboro: 25-12, 17-25, 25-20, 17-25, 15-10
Furman (21-3, 13-0 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Caroline Adams 16-0-5; Alexis Shaffer 15-0-3; Natalie Braun 14-1-1; Chandler Ambrester 10-0-2; Katherine Hall 4-0-2; Kelsey Salava 2-1-2; Carolyn Nicoletti 0-1-0; Totals 61-3-8.0. (Assists) - Kelsey Salava 47. (Dig leaders) - Natalie Braun 26; Carolyn Nicoletti 19; Stephanie Smith 17; Kelsey Salava 15; Brooke Ellison 8
UNC Greensboro (16-13, 8-6 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Luciana Shafer 14-0-5; Caley Redden 10-0-1; Billi Baker 10-0-4; Emily Lindborg 8-0-7; Kayren Finney 7-0-6; Ari Lysacek 2-0-3; Catherine Hanners 1-0-0; Kayleigh Knerr 0-1-0; Totals 52-1-13.0. (Assists) - Ari Lysacek 44. (Dig leaders) - Caley Redden 24; Catherine Hanners 19; Ari Lysacek 17; Kayleigh Knerr 9; Luciana Shafer 8
Site: Greensboro, N.C. (Fleming Gym)
Date: Nov 06, 2009 Attend: 323 Time: 2:12
Referees: Brian Jones, Suzanne Lowry
- UNCG -