UNCG advances to SoCon semifinals after five-set thriller
BOONE, N.C. – After coming back to force a fifth and final set, UNCG exploded for 10 kills and a .400 hitting percentage in the fifth set to defeat Furman, 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-9), in the Southern Conference quarterfinals on Friday morning in the Holmes Center.
The Spartans will now face College of Charleston, the No. 1 seed in the South Division, in the semifinals on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Spartans won their third-straight match to improve their record to 22-11, while the Paladins ended their season with a 17-12 record.
UNCG was led by Caley Redden who recorded 18 kills, one shy of her career-high, and also had 17 digs for a double-double. Ariel Newman was just as impressive as she tied her career-high with 17 kills and added 18 digs for her own double-double. The two Spartan middle blockers also had great matches as Kayren Finney and Olivia Humphries each had 13 kills and hit over .400. Libero Kellie Orewiler had a team-high 22 digs, as well.
The Paladins were led by Katherine Hall, who had a team-high 17 kills, while Alexis Shaffer also had double-digit kills with 12. Kelly Kirby had the lone double-double for Furman as she posted 19 assists and 19 digs.
The Spartans, who never trailed in the final set, came right out and took an early 5-2 lead in the fifth set on a Paladin attack error. Furman closed the Spartan lead to one at 7-6 on a kill by Chandler Ambrester, but UNCG immediately responded with the next three points to go ahead, 10-6, and force the Paladins to use their final timeout.
Furman could only get as close as three points in the final few points as the Spartans won the final three points of the set to win it, 15-9, and seal the victory.
The Spartans came storming out of the gates in the first set as they hit .342 as a team to win the set. UNCG took the early 5-1 lead in the set before Furman came back to make it 7-6. The teams would trade points for a few minutes and then the Spartans won four-straight points to take a 16-10 lead. UNCG would go on to win the set, 25-18, capped off by a pair of kills from Humphries.
The second set was a lot closer as the teams traded points to the first half of the set. A kill by Billi Baker broke a 13-all tie, but the Paladins took the next three points to take a 16-14 lead and force a UNCG timeout. The Spartans continued to chip away at the Furman lead before finally tying the set at 20 on a block by Humphries and Redden. Furman then took a timeout and won five of the final six points in the set to win it, 25-21.
Coming out of intermission, the teams played a very close third set as they were tied 13 different times and swapped the lead seven times. The Spartans built an 18-16 lead after a kill by Finney and a service ace from Orewiler before the Paladins came back to win the next five points and take a 21-18 lead. UNCG continued to fight and tied the set at 22, but Furman won the final three points to take the set, 25-22.
Down 2-1 in the match, UNCG responded with its season on the line in the fourth set. Leading just 9-8, the Spartans went on a 7-2 run to take a 16-10 lead. The Paladins couldn't get it closer than four points the rest of the way as UNCG won the set, 25-19, to tie the match at two and force a fifth set.
The Spartans will play again on Saturday at 2 p.m. against College of Charleston.
UNCG def. Furman 25-18, 21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-9
Furman (17-12) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Katherine Hall 17-0-1; Alexis Shaffer 12-0-7; Chandler Ambrester 7-0-6; Kelly Kirby 7-1-3; Caroline Adams 6-2-4; Christina Dorismond 1-0-5; Totals 50-3-14.0. (Assists) - Sarah McCarthy 23; Kelly Kirby 19. (Dig leaders) - Natalie Braun 24; Kelly Kirby 19; Chandler Ambrester 14
UNCG (23-10) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Caley Redden 18-1-2; Ariel Newman 17-2-0; Olivia Humphries 13-0-2; Kayren Finney 13-0-4; Billi Baker 7-0-3; Kimiko Naito 0-1-0; Ari Lysacek 0-0-1; Kellie Orewiler 0-2-0; Totals 68-6-7.0. (Assists) - Ari Lysacek 45; Kimiko Naito 16. (Dig leaders) - Kellie Orewiler 22; Ariel Newman 18; Caley Redden 17; Ari Lysacek 9
Site: Boone, N.C. (Holmes Center)
Date: Nov 19, 2010 Attend: 228 Time: 2:16
Referees: Michael O'Connor, Terry Martin
- UNCG -