Volleyball Falls In Three At Western Carolina
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team could not find a rhythm Saturday, falling to Western Carolina 3-0 inside the Ramsey Center. The Spartans fall to 7-7 overall and 2-1 in Southern Conference play while the Catamounts improve to 6-13 and 2-2.
Freshman Lauren Betlach led the way for UNCG, tallying her second career double-double with 11 kills and a career-high 16 digs. Also posting a personal best was freshman Julia Westerbur who racked up five kills. Defensively, freshman Katherine Santiago reached the 20-dig plateau for the sixth time this season with 21 while junior Kellie Orewiler also recorded double figures with 11.
Western Carolina took control from the outset, taking leads of 9-4 and 18-10 before the Spartans rallied to within 23-19 on a Kelsey Sidney kill. UNCG could not sustain the momentum as the Catamounts scored the last two points of the frame. The Spartans hit just .143 in the set while allowing WCU to fire at a .220 clip.
UNCG captured the first two rallies in the second interval, but Western Carolina scored seven-straight points to push ahead by five. A block by junior Morgan Freeman and sophomore Emily McMurtrey made the score 11-10, but Sidney committed an attack error a few points later, allowing the home side to build a 16-11 cushion. The Spartans would answer, going on a 4-0 run capped off by another UNCG block. However, WCU scored the next two points and kept the Spartans at an arm's length – taking the set by a 25-22 score.
The Blue and Gold struggled again offensively, hitting just .102, but did get its block going, owning a 5.0-1.0 advantage in the set.
The Catamounts pushed in front 3-1 in the third interval before a solo block by Freeman capped an 8-3 run and put UNCG ahead 9-6. The Spartans led by a 13-11 score but could not keep the advantage as an attack error by redshirt junior Olivia Humphries allowed WCU to finish a rally and lead 19-16. UNCG tied the frame at 22 on a Westerbur kill and had two set points at 24-23 and 25-24, but the Catamounts scored the final three to capture the match.
The Spartans return to action tomorrow as they take on Appalachian State at the Holmes Convocation Center. First serve is set for 5 p.m.
- UNCG -