September 12, 2012
Volleyball Closes Homestand With Four Matches This Weekend
Complete Match Notes (PDF)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team will be busy this weekend as it hosts Ohio Thursday, followed by the Spartan Spiketacular Friday and Saturday. The Spartans welcome UNC Wilmington, Youngstown State and Morehead State to Fleming Gymnasium for the event.
The Spartans look to reverse their recent fortunes, having dropped three of their last four matches. However, each of those losses occurred in five sets.
A couple of UNCG players enjoyed standout performances during the Spartan-Aggie Invitational last weekend. Freshman Katherine Santiago
continued the sensational start to her career in the match against defending Patriot League champion American, racking up a match and career-high 32 digs. She was named the tournament's top libero and earned a spot on the all-tournament team for her efforts during the weekend as she averaged 5.15 digs per set. Santiago was the first Spartan to eclipse 30 digs in a match since current junior Kellie Orewiler
tallied 36 in a four-set affair at Western Carolina Oct. 30 of last season.
Sophomore outside hitter Vicky Harley
hit .259 in the event, racking up 25 kills (2.27 per set) and averaging over a block per frame (1.18). She leads UNCG in hitting percentage overall at .276 (among players with at least 100 attempts) and blocking with 1.07 stuffs per set.
In the last four contests, sophomore setter Emily McMurtrey
has handled the duties of running the offense and continues to improve with each match. She has averaged 9.56 assists per set since her first start at High Point and put up exactly 11 per frame during the Spartan-Aggie Invitational.
Despite hitting below .200 this past weekend, UNCG is firing at a .209 clip through seven matches in 2012. The Spartans also hold the upper hand against opponents statistically in assists (10.94-10.61), digs (15.45-14.29) and total blocks (1.84-1.39).
THE BOOK ON OHIO UNIVERSITY...
The Bobcats enter Thursday's match with a 4-5 record, but looks can be deceiving. Of Ohio's five losses, four have occurred against teams that were ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll at the time - No. 7 Illinois, No. 10 Kentucky, No. 11 Pepperdine and No. 17 Oregon. Each of the Bobcats' victories are sweeps over Western Carolina, Niagara, Belmont and Montana State. Ohio owns a powerful offense which is averaging 13.29 kills per set and firing at a .225 clip.
CLOSE BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH...
UNCG may sport a 4-3 record thus far, but the Spartans are only six points away from seven wins and no losses. The fifth set has been mostly unkind to UNCG. After topping Liberty 15-13 in the decider at the North Carolina Central Invitational, the Spartans have fallen by scores of 15-8, 15-13 and 18-16.
ATTACK OF THE LIBEROS...
UNCG sports arguably the top libero tandem in the Southern Conference in junior Kellie Orewiler, the reigning SoCon Libero of the Year, and Santiago have combined for 237 total digs while averaging 3.68 and 3.97 per set respectively.
TRIPLE THE FUN (ALMOST)...
Senior setter Ari 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).
SETTING RECORDS AND TAKING NAMES...
Sophomore outside hitter Vicky Harley recorded a career-high 10 kills versus Hampton and hit .615 in the match - a new program best for a four-set contest. She made just one error on 13 attempts in the contest.
ANOTHER EXCELLENT START...
The Spartans opened the season with three victories for the second time in the last three seasons. The last time UNCG began a campaign 3-0 was in 2010 when the Spartans finished with a 22-12 record, a second-place finish in the SoCon North Division and an appearance in the league tournament semifinals.
UNCG is leading the Southern Conference in opponent hitting percentage while ranking third in aces per set and fourth in hitting percentage. The Spartans also reside in the top half of the league in blocks per set (fifth) and assists and kills (sixth). Individually, Harley sits second among SoCon players in blocks per set with a 1.07 average.
UNCG opens Southern Conference action next week, traveling to Elon for a matchup with the rival Phoenix. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Alumni Gym.
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