UNCG closes out regular season with pair of home contests
UNCG (19-11, 7-7 SoCon) vs. Western Carolina (6-24, 1-13 SoCon), Appalachian State (18-9, 9-5 SoCon) Nov. 12 & 13, 7 p.m. and 7 p.m., Fleming Gymnasium
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- Coming off a 3-1 setback against High Point on Tuesday, UNCG will look to close out its regular season on a high note as the Spartans host Western Carolina and Appalachian State this weekend. The Spartans will start the weekend off on Friday as they host the Catamounts at 7 p.m. before playing against the Mountaineers on Saturday at 7 p.m.
- The match on Saturday night against Appalachian State will mark Senior Day for five special seniors. Billi Baker, Alissa Beaudway, Kayren Finney, Kimiko Naito and Caley Redden will be honored in a special pre-match ceremony.
- On Tuesday night, UNCG fell to High Point, 3-1, in the final midweek game of the season for both teams. The Spartans were led by Caley Redden who had a team-high 11 kills and added a team-high 15 digs for a double-double. Kayren Finney and Ariel Newman each chipped in seven kills too and Kellie Orewiler recorded 11 digs.
- Last weekend, the Spartans fell to Elon at home before losing to Furman on the road. On Friday night, the Spartans fell to backyard-rival Elon, 3-0, before having to run around on Saturday and travel to Furman where they lost 3-0 to the Paladins. Ariel Newman led the Spartans against Elon as she posted 13 kills and 13 digs for a double-double. It was the 15th time in the last 16 games she had double-digit kills. Against Furman, Newman had nine kills and eight digs in the losing effort.
- The Spartans went from being in a three-way tie for first place in the SoCon North Division to fourth place after dropping the two matches last weekend. UNCG, who is 7-7 in the league, is now two games behind Appalachian State and Elon for first place and just half a game behind Samford for third place. The Spartans hold the final playoff spot in the North over Chattanooga by a game and a half.
- The Spartans are 11-17 all-time against Western Carolina and an even 19-19 against Appalachian State in the series between the two sides. Earlier this year, UNCG dropped the first two sets before battling back to force a fifth set. In the final set, the Spartans held an 11-10 lead, but the Catamounts claimed the final five points to win the set, 15-11. The following day, the Spartans traveled to Boone to face Appalachian State and swept the Mountaineers, 3-0. It was a tight match as all three sets were decided by three points or less.
- 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 131 blocks this season for a 1.39 blocks/set average, which ranks eighth nationally this week.
- 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 seventh in hitting percentage at .312 and Ariel Newman is ninth in kills with 2.92 kills/set average. Freshman Kellie Orewiler is ninth in digs from her libero position with 3.47 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.
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