UNCG hits the road for two North Division battles
UNCG (18-7, 6-4 SoCon) at Samford (11-14, 5-6 SoCon), at Chattanooga (10-17, 5-6 SoCon), Oct. 30 & 31, 2 p.m. 5 p.m.
Livestats: UNCGSpartans.com (Chattanooga only)
- Coming off a win over The Citadel last weekend, UNCG will once again hit the road this weekend as the Spartans travel to Samford and Chattanooga for a pair of North Division matches. The Spartans will start the weekend on Saturday with a 2 p.m. match before turning around and playing at Chattanooga on Sunday at 5 p.m. Once the Spartans complete this road trip, they will have played seven of their last 10 games on the road.
- Last weekend, the Spartans returned home and split a pair of matches on Dig Pink weekend. UNCG fell on Friday night to College of Charleston, 3-1, before coming back on Saturday to defeat The Citadel by the same 3-1 margin. Ariel Newman had 14 kills on Friday, while Kayren Finney posted a career-high 10 blocks and Caley Redden added 22 digs. On Saturday, Newman had a career-high 17 kills and 13 digs for a double-double and Ari Lysacek posted her 12th double-double of the year with 30 assists and 11 digs.
- The Spartans are now in a three-way tie for first place in the Southern Conference North Division standings with a 6-4 record in league play and a 18-7 overall record. Appalachian State and Elon also have matching 6-4 records in the North Division. Samford and Chattanooga and are right behind the three-team pack at the top with 5-6 marks in the North Division.
- The Spartans are 2-3 all-time against Samford and 6-23 against Chattanooga in the series. Earlier this season, the Spartans swept defending North Division champion Samford at home, 3-0, in the SoCon opener for both schools. Caley Redden had a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs to lead UNCG in that match. The following day on Sept. 25, UNCG also swept Chattanooga, 3-0. Ariel Newman had a match-high 11 kills for the Spartans in the win.
- In addition to leading the Southern Conference in blocks, Kayren Finney is one of the leaders nationally in that category, as well. The senior already has accumulated 114 blocks this season for a 1.52 blocks/set average. Her average ranks fifth nationally this week and is a full .15 blocks/set more than second place in the SoCon. Ari Lysacek is also in the national rankings this week as she is tied for 36th in aces per set. She currently leads the SoCon with .40 aces/set after recording 35 aces so far this season.
- There are also other Spartans who ranks in the top-10 in numerous other categories in the Southern Conference. Sophomore Olivia Humphries currently sits in sixth in hitting percentage at .326 and Ariel Newman is eighth in kills with 2.92 kills/set average. Freshman Kellie Orewiler is 10th in digs from her libero position with 3.40 digs/set.
- This season, the Spartans began the year with a 14-3 record, which is the best start by a UNCG team since 1995 when the team started the year 24-3. In those 14 wins, the Spartans swept their opponents by a 3-0 score eight times. Five of the other six wins came in four-set victories.
- At the Spartan Spiketacular earlier this season, junior Ariel Newman was tabbed as the Tournament MVP. Sophomore Olivia Humphries and senior Caley Redden were also named to the All-Tournament team. Freshman Kellie Orewiler was selected as the Libero of the Tournament by the head coaches.
- The team title at the Spartan Spiketacular was the second tournament that UNCG has won this season after winning the Spartan Classic earlier this season. It marked the first time since 1995 that UNCG has won two tournaments in one season. That year, the Spartans won the UNCG Fall Tournament and the College of Charleston Invite.
- The Spartans began the 2010 season with an impressive 8-1 record over their first nine matches. That marked the best start in school history since UNCG began the 1994 season 9-1. Also, the 14-3 start by UNCG was the best since the 1995 team started the year 24-3.
- The Spartans kicked off their 2010 season by claiming the Spartan Classic title in Norfolk, Va. On Friday, UNCG swept Navy, 3-0, to begin the tournament before defeating Kent State, 3-1. UNCG came back on Saturday and beat host Norfolk State in five sets and then dismantled Providence, 3-1.
- In addition to winning the Spartan Classic, sophomore Olivia Humphries and junior Ariel Newman earned all-tournament honors. Humphries won the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award, as well.
- UNCG returns eight players, including four starters, from the 2009 squad that went 17-14 overall and 9-7 in the Southern Conference. The Spartans finished the season tied for third in the North Division and missed making the postseason by one game.
- Before the season, the Spartans were tabbed to finish in fourth place in the North Division by the head coaches in the SoCon. Samford was picked to win the North Division, while reigning SoCon Tournament Champion College of Charleston was chosen to claim the South Division.
- The Spartans welcome seven newcomers to the program this year. Sarah Eldridge comes in as a junior after transferring from a successful two years at Cowley County Community College, while Karrian Chambers, Samantha Deutchman, Lara Keyes, Kellie Orewiler, Karen Stedman and Savannah Tomlinson enter as freshman.
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