HIGH POINT, N.C. – UNCG rallied from a 2-0 deficit at High Point Tuesday night, but the Panthers commanded the deciding set and recorded a 3-2 nonconference volleyball victory over UNCG Tuesday night at the Millis Center. The Panthers improved to 5-3 while the Spartans fell for the first time this season and are 3-1.
Sophomore Kelsey Sidney filled up the stat sheet, garnering her first career double-double with 10 kills and 10 digs to go along with two aces and four blocks. Freshman Lauren Betlach led UNCG with 12 kills and hit .231 while racking up six digs. Speaking of defense, junior Kellie Orewiler tallied 25 digs while rookie Katherine Santiago totaled 24 to set her young career's best mark.
The Spartans hit just .114 in the match to High Point's .172 and the Panthers also had the upper hand in digs (96-93) and kills (66-45). UNCG did out-block its hosts 9.0-5.0.
A strong serving run by Lysacek propelled UNCG to a 5-1 lead before the Panthers responded with four-straight point to tie the score. The teams stayed close and traded points until, with the score tied at 10, High Point went on a 6-1 run to push ahead 16-11 – forcing a timeout from the Spartan bench. The advantage grew to 18-11 before Chambers ended the scoring string with a block on the left side. UNCG tried to rally one last time, pulling within 20-16, but HPU proved too much and claimed the opening set by a 25-18 count.
The Spartans hit just .059 in the frame while allowing the home team to fire at a .314 clip. High Point also held the upper hand in the dig column at 16-13.
UNCG took control of the second interval from the outset, using some nice hitting by Humphries and scrappy defense to push out to an 11-4 lead. The Panthers responded as they did in the first set, scoring four consecutive times to draw within 11-8 and force a Spartan timeout. HPU put two more points on the board before Kelsey Sidney ended the run with a kill from the left side. A Panther attack error made the score 17-12 in favor of UNCG, but High Point rallied once more to make it a two-point affair at 18-16. The serving of Johnk carried the Panthers all the way to end of the interval as HPU took the 25-19 victory to take control of the match.
Through the first two sets, High Point produced a .250 hitting mark while holding the Spartans to a .106 showing. Johnk led all players with nine kills and Panther libero Molly Barlow racked up a match-best 16 digs.
It was High Point which raced ahead in the third set, building a 9-2 lead. Humphries kept UNCG in it with some tough serving, as the Spartans pulled within two at 12-10 via a Panther attack error. UNCG was able to complete the comeback, knotting the score at 17 with a block by Humphries and Lauren Betlach. It was Betlach who was able to put down a kill a few points later and give the Spartans a 19-17 advantage before Humphries produced a service ace to cap an 8-3 frame-ending run and keep UNCG alive in the match.
The Spartans limited the hosts to a .000 hitting percentage in the set, out-dug the Panthers 23-21 and held a 2.0-1.0 advantage in total blocks. Betlach hit .333 in the frame with three kills.
UNCG was able to build a 22-18 lead late in the fourth frame, but High Point rallied with five-straight points to move ahead 23-22. The Spartans tied the interval at 24 on a bad set call on the Panthers, and the teams went back and forth before a HPU attack error and a Chambers kill sent the match to the deciding set, 28-26. UNCG hit .205 in the frame to aid its cause.
The Panthers edged ahead by an 8-5 score as Chambers committed an attack error. After the teams switched benches, High Point scored four of the next six points to take a commanding 12-7 lead. The Spartans scored just once more as the Panthers ended the marathon match with an ace.
UNCG opens its home schedule Friday, welcoming UNC Asheville to Fleming Gymnasium for the first match of the Spartan-Aggie Invitational. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
- UNCG -