September 19, 2012
Southern Conference Opener At Elon On Tap For Volleyball Thursday
Complete Match Notes (PDF)
ELON, N.C. – A "new season" begins for the UNCG volleyball team this week as it turns its record back to 0-0 for the start of Southern Conference play. The Spartans travel to North Division rival Elon Thursday for a showdown with the Phoenix. First serve at Alumni Gym is set for 7 p.m.
UNCG and Elon played a pair of marathon matches last season, with each squad winning on its home court. The Spartans rallied from a 2-0 deficit to stun the Phoenix in Greensboro before Elon returned the favor and overcame a 2-1 hole to defeat UNCG at Alumni Gym.
The Spartans recently completed a seven-match homestand in which they put together a 2-5 record. That ledger is deceiving, however, as UNCG faced off against three teams (American, Ohio and Morehead State) which were picked to win their respective leagues. Additionally, three of those losses (UNC Asheville, American and Morehead State) went the full five sets. The Spartans grabbed wins over North Carolina A&T (3-0) and UNC Wilmington (3-2) while also falling to Ohio (3-0) and Youngstown State (3-1).
Redshirt junior Olivia Humphries
produced a fine showing during the Spartan Spiketacular this past weekend, averaging 3.46 kills per set (45 total) and hitting .246 while notching the first two double-doubles of her career. She put up 25 kills and 11 digs (.388 hitting percentage) to help UNCG rally from a 2-0 deficit to down UNC Wilmington before tallying 12 kills and 11 digs in the loss to Ohio Valley Conference favorite and defending champion Morehead State. Humphries was named to the All-Tournament Team.
Freshman Katherine Santiago
earned Top Libero honors in a tournament for the second time this year as she racked up 58 digs (4.14 per set) with no less than 16 in each match. Santiago paces the squad with 195 digs and a 4.06 per set average - also good for ninth in the SoCon.
THE BOOK ON ELON...
Elon enters the league opener with an overall record of 7-8 after taking two of three matches at the Colonial Challenge in Williamsburg, Va. last weekend. Freshman Megan Gravely has been the offensive force for the Phoenix thus far, averaging 2.90 kills per set (148 total). Senior libero Ali Deatsch paces the back row with 188 digs (3.62 per set) while freshman setter Ana Nicksic ranks sixth in the league with an average of 9.07 assists per set.
CLOSE BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH...
UNCG may sport a 5-6 record thus far, but the Spartans are only eight points away from eight wins and three losses. The fifth set has been mostly unkind to UNCG as the Spartans are 2-4 in matches which go the full duration. 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 (twice) and 18-16.
LEADING FROM THE BACK ROW...
UNCG sports arguably the top libero tandem in the Southern Conference in junior Kellie Orewiler
, the reigning SoCon Libero of the Year, and freshman Katherine Santiago have combined for 351 total digs while averaging 3.25 and 4.06 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 returns to Fleming Gymnasium Saturday night, hosting The Citadel in another Southern Conference clash. First serve is set for 7 p.m.
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