After a successful opening weekend, the UNCG volleyball team heads to High Point Tuesday for a midweek showdown with the Panthers at the Millis Center. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
The Spartans defeated N.C. Central, defending Big South champion Liberty and Hampton at the North Carolina Central Invitational to begin the season 3-0 for the second time in the last three campaigns. The victory over the Flames was especially impressive as UNCG rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win the fifth set, 15-13,and the match, 3-2.
Upperclassmen have led the Spartan charge early in the season, as junior Karrian Chambers is averaging 3.42 kills per set while lone senior Ari Lysacek has accounted for 8.85 assists per set and junior Kellie Orewiler has picked up 3.62 digs per frame. Orewiler is the reigning Southern Conference Libero of the Year.
Lysacek put on an impressive performance against Liberty, falling just one kill shy of a triple-double. She tallied 44 assists, 12 digs and nine kills to account for UNCG's first double-double of the season. The lone senior on this year's roster also hit for an efficient percentage - picking up the nine kills on 13 attempts with just one error (.615).
Another bright spot for the Spartans was the play of sophomore Vicky Harley, who put down a career-high 10 kills versus Hampton and hit .615 in the match - a new program best for a four-set contest.
THE BOOK ON HIGH POINT...
High Point enters Tuesday's showdown having dropped two of three at Auburn's War Eagle Classic. The Panthers topped Jacksonville State in five sets before falling to the host Tigers in three and SoCon member Georgia Southern in four. Senior outside hitter Courtney Johnk has been the offensive force for HPU thus far, accounting for 3.25 kills per set and nine service aces - both team highs. Classmate Molly Barlow paces the back row with 95 digs for an average of 3.20 per frame. The Panthers were picked fourth in the Big South preseason coaches poll.
HPU leads the overall series by a slim 7-6 count after the Spartans knocked off the Panthers last year at the George Mason Tournament.
UNCG opens its home schedule this weekend, Sept. 7-8, as it plays co-host to the Spartan-Aggie Invitational. Matches will be played at Fleming Gymnasium as well as the Corbett Sports Center on the campus of crosstown rival North Carolina A&T. The Spartans open the event Friday against UNC Asheville before facing the Aggies and American Saturday.
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