Spartans sweep defending division champion Samford in SoCon opener
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Behind a double-double from senior Caley Redden, UNCG swept two-time defending North Division champion Samford, 3-0 (25-16, 30-28, 25-20), in the Southern Conference opener for both schools on Friday night in Fleming Gymnasium.
With the win, the Spartans improved to 13-3 on the year and 1-0 in SoCon play, while Samford fell to 6-9 this season and 0-1 in the league. It marked the fifth-straight win for the Spartans this season and the seventh time this year UNCG has swept a team.
"It's a great win for our program, it's a great win for our team," said coach Patrick Nicholas. "I was really proud of the team. I told them if we were going to win, we had to win as a team. If you look at the stats across the board everybody contributed in a positive manner."
Redden led the Spartan charge offensively as she tied for a match-high 12 kills and added a match-high 10 digs for a double-double. Ariel Newman also had double-digit kills with 10, while Ari Lysacek had a team-high 33 assists on the evening. Olivia Humphries and Billi Baker each added eight kills apiece for the Spartans.
Lauren Hutchinson paced the Bulldogs with 12 kills, while Katie Murphy and Allie Bettinger added nine and eight kills, respectively. Hillary Fountain had a match-high 37 assists, as well.
In the opening set, the two sides kept it close as UNCG held a narrow 10-8 early in the set. The Spartans took the next four points to go ahead 14-8 and take control of the set. Samford battled back to pull within 15-12, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would get the rest of the set as UNCG won the set, 25-16.
Coach Patrick Nicholas talks about the win over Samford
In the second set, Samford took control early and led for nearly the entire set. The Bulldogs took an early 4-1 on a kill by Hutchinson and went on to extend their lead to 16-11 midway through the set.
After a UNCG timeout, the Spartan won the next three points on a kill by Humphries and two Samford errors to make it 16-14. The two teams continued to trade points as Samford led late, 22-20. UNCG won the next three points to take its first lead of the set at 23-22. The Bulldogs then won the next two points to have set point at 24-23, but UNCG called a timeout and then tied the match at 24 on a kill by Alissa Beaudway.
The Spartans fought off three more set points by Samford before taking a 28-27 lead on a kill by Redden. The Bulldogs tied the match at 28 before UNCG got a kill from Baker and took advantage of a Samford attack error to win the set, 30-28.
The two sides once again found themselves trading points to begin the set. The teams were tied at 10 after a UNCG error before the Spartans won five of the next six points to take a 15-11 advantage. The Bulldogs fought back to make it 17-15, but UNCG held strong at the end and closed out the match with a kill by Redden to win the set, 25-20.
The Spartans will return to action on Saturday as UNCG hosts Chattanooga for a 5 p.m. contest in Fleming Gymnasium.
UNCG def. Samford 25-16, 30-28, 25-20
Samford (6-9) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Lauren Hutchinson 12-1-2; Katie Murphy 9-0-2; Allie Bettinger 8-0-0; Elizabeth Neisler 7-0-2; Hillary Fountain 2-1-0; Lyndsey Holt 2-0-1; Samantha Bland 1-0-0; Alexis Bauer 1-0-0; Shelby Brandon 0-0-1; Casey Garvey 0-2-0; Totals 42-4-4.0. (Assists) - Hillary Fountain 37. (Dig leaders) - Lyndsey Holt 9; Alexis Bauer 7
UNCG (13-3) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Caley Redden 12-0-1; Ariel Newman 10-1-0; Billi Baker 8-0-2; Olivia Humphries 8-1-1; Kayren Finney 4-0-4; Ari Lysacek 3-0-0; Alissa Beaudway 2-0-1; Kimiko Naito 2-0-0; Kellie Orewiler 0-1-0; Totals 49-3-5.0. (Assists) - Ari Lysacek 33. (Dig leaders) - Caley Redden 10; Kellie Orewiler 8
Site: Greensboro, N.C. (Fleming Gymnasium)
Date: Sep 24, 2010 Attend: 473 Time: 1:26
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