Volleyball Cruises Past Wofford In Three Sets
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team put forth perhaps its most impressive performance of the season Saturday night in Fleming Gymnasium, making quick work of Wofford 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-12) in a Southern Conference matchup. The sweep is the team's first in league play this season and first for the Spartans since a 3-0 victory against Chattanooga at home Nov. 4, 2011.
"This was a great 3-0 win for us tonight," head coach Patrick Nicholas said. "Wofford is having a pretty good year and is right there in the hunt for a conference tournament bid. We have spent a lot of time working on our focus and mental toughness this week and learned a hard lesson last night against Furman, giving away that big lead in the fifth set. We are really close to being a great team and we need to continue improving."
With the victory, Nicholas increased his career win total to 195 and his UNCG tally to 65 – the second-most wins by a coach in program history.
The Spartans (11-11, 5-5 SoCon) produced their second-highest hitting mark of the season against the Terriers (12-10, 3-7 SoCon), firing at a .337 clip with 41 kills against just nine errors. UNCG hit and impressive .600 in the second set to help its cause offensively. It was a dominant performance for the Spartans in nearly every statistical category as UNCG held the upper hand in kills (41-30), hitting percentage (.337-.108), assists (39-25), service aces (4-1), digs (50-40) and total blocks (7.5-4.0). The Spartans also sided out at 71 percent, 85 percent in the second set, while limiting the visitors to just 45 percent.
With 38 assists in the match, senior setter Ari Lysacek moved into sole possession of fourth place on the UNCG career ledger as she now owns 3,153. She also posted three digs and two blocks assists in the three sets.
Leading the offensive charge was a pair of juniors in Olivia Humphries and Karrian Chambers who both recorded a match-high 14. They also hit for a high percentage with Humphries firing at .414 and Chambers checking in at .344. Their classmate, Morgan Freeman, also enjoyed a solid effort with nine kills and a .467 hitting percentage. The trio made just seven errors among them.
Defensively, the Spartans' liberos, junior Kellie Orewiler and freshman Katherine Santiago, teamed up to post 31 of UNCG's 50 digs. Orewiler contributed 17 while Santiago chipped in the other 14. At the net, freshman Julia Westerbur racked up four blocks (three assists) and recorded two kills on three attempts without making an error.
Wofford opened up a 4-2 lead in the first set when Wendy Burnett put down a kill. The Terriers would keep the two-point cushion for a while, but with the score 8-6, Chambers scored and Wofford committed an attacking error to pull the teams even. A pair of kills by Burnett capped a modest 3-0 run and pushed the Terriers in front 11-8 before UNCG ripped off a 6-3 run to get itself back in the set.
The teams traded points for a while until, with the score 16-16, the Spartans scored five of the next seven points to take control. Wofford was forced to take a timeout trailing 21-18 and made good on the call, pulling to within 22-21 on an Amanda Liguori kill. The Terriers did themselves no favors out of the timeout, committing a service error and a pair of attacking miscues to give UNCG the set by a 25-21 score.
It was tight second set at the beginning as the squads played to a 10-10 deadlock. It was the Spartans who wrestled control away from there as a Chambers kill and three-straight Wofford attacking errors allowed UNCG to take a 14-10 advantage. It was all Spartans from there as UNCG out-scored the Terriers 11-4 the remainder of the set, heading into the intermission with a 2-0 lead for the first time since the SoCon opener at Elon.
The Spartans came out on fire in the third set, all but ending the match with a 12-1 run to begin the frame. UNCG posted nine kills from three different players during the run. The Spartans took leads of 16-4 and 21-10 before closing out the match with a 25-12 third set decision.
UNCG will play another pair of matches at Fleming Gymnasium next weekend, facing Western Carolina and Appalachian State for the second time this season. The Spartans will battle the Catamounts at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 before wrapping up the weekend with a matchup against the Mountaineers – also at 7 p.m.
- UNCG -