September 7, 2012
Volleyball Drops Second Consecutive Five-Set Match
UNC Asheville 3, UNCG 2 (PDF)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – It was an evening of rallies inside Fleming Gymnasium Friday, but with UNCG holding a 12-9 lead late in the fifth set, UNC Asheville responded with a 6-1 run to end the match and escape with a 3-2 victory to begin the Spartan-Aggie Classic. The Bulldogs improve to 3-7 overall while the Spartans fall to 3-2.
"I'm proud of the team for getting the match to five sets again after being down," head coach Patrick Nicholas said. "However, I am disappointed that we not committing to defense the way we should. We knew they were going to roll shot and tip a ton of balls, but we were still standing up in the fifth set. We need to be more mentally tough and focused."
Freshman Lauren Betlach
notched her first career double-double with a career-high 19 kills to go along with 13 digs. Sophomore Vicky Harley
had a solid evening offensively, putting down 15 kills on 29 attempts with just six errors to post a .310 hitting mark. She added a career-high 10 blocks (nine assists) for her first-ever double-double. Defensively, rookie Katherine Santiago
continued to shine, racking up a personal-best and match-high 27 digs.
Sophomore setter Emily McMurtrey
was responsible for UNCG's third double-double of the evening as she handed out a career-high 59 assists to go along with 13 digs. Also reaching double-digit kills in the match were juniors Karrian Chambers
and Olivia Humphries
– posting 14 and 12 respectively.
"I thought Emily did a good job tonight," Nicholas said. "We need our upperclassmen to take rips at the ball when they get a set. Instead, we were just hitting it to middle back and letting the other team come right back at us. It's early in the season, so I am interested to see how we will respond to matches like this."
UNC Asheville held a slight upper hand in hitting (.194-.179), kills (71-69) and digs (90-82) while the Spartans dominated at the net – racking up a season-best 16.5 blocks as compared to 9.0 for the visitors.
The first set was nip and tuck throughout, as neither team could build a lead of more than three points. UNCG was able to stave off five set points before taking a 31-30 advantage on a Chambers kill. The Bulldogs had an answer, however, responding with three-straight kills to capture the frame by a 33-31 count.
The Spartans were much more in control in the second interval, building a 13-10 lead on a Morgan Freeman
kill. UNCG took leads of 16-12 and 20-14 on the way to a 25-18 victory that knotted the match at one set apiece.
UNC Asheville scored eight of the first 12 points of the third set, but the Spartans rallied with three-straight points to pull within one. That would be as close as UNCG would come the rest of the way, as Holly Shelton shut the door with a kill to give the Bulldogs a 25-23 frame win.
It was another tight affair in the fourth interval, with the score tied at as late as 20. UNC Asheville moved in front 24-21 on a Kelsey Sidney
attack error; however, the Spartans dug deep and stunned their visitors with a 5-0 run which pushed the match into the deciding set.
With the score knotted at four, a 6-3 run by the home team made it 10-7 and forced the Bulldogs to call timeout. UNCG held a 12-9 advantage when Harley posted a kill, but UNC Asheville rode the serving of Bryn Pfeiffer and scored six of the last seven points of the contest to steal the win.
The Spartan-Aggie Invitational concludes tomorrow with two matches. UNCG will take on crosstown rival North Carolina A&T at 11 a.m. before entertaining American University at 7 p.m. Both matches will take place in Fleming Gymnasium.
- UNCG -