October 25, 2012
Volleyball Hosts North Division Rivals To Close Homestand
Complete Match Notes (PDF)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – With the 2012 regular season winding down, the UNCG volleyball team hosts a pair of critical Southern Conference matchups. The Spartans will take on Western Carolina and Appalachian State Friday and Saturday (Oct. 26-27) inside Fleming Gymnasium. Both matches are slated for 7 p.m.
The Spartans are tied with Elon for second place in the SoCon North Division at 5-5 with six games remaining on the regular season docket. UNCG downed the Phoenix in five sets in both teams' league opener, giving the Spartans the No. 2 North Division seed for the moment. The squads will play again Nov. 8 at Fleming Gym in UNCG's home finale.
UNCG looks to avenge a 3-0 loss to the Catamounts Sept. 29 in which the Spartans were playing without one of their key offensive threats. Junior Karrian Chambers missed the match to tend to a family matter, but returned the next day to lead the Blue and Gold to a 3-1 victory on the Mountaineers' home court.
Last weekend, the Spartans dropped an intense five-set affair to Furman as UNCG led 7-0 in the fifth set but could not hold off the Paladins' final charge - falling in the frame 16-14. The Blue and Gold rebounded in a big way against Wofford the next day, turning back the Terriers by scores of 25-21, 25-14 and 25-12. It was the first SoCon sweep for the Spartans since they downed Chattanooga in three sets at home last season.
SCOUTING WESTERN CAROLINA...
The Catamounts enter the weekend holding on to the final North Division bid to the conference tournament with a 4-6 league ledger. Western owns a win over Chattanooga, giving the Catamounts the tiebreaker for now. WCU split a pair of matches last week, sweeping the Citadel while falling to College of Charleston in four sets. Caitlin Piechota continues to pace the Catamounts offensively, as she has racked up a team-best 254 kills (3.22 per set).
ALL ABOUT APPALACHIAN STATE...
Appalachian State looks to make a charge with six games remaining in order to secure a spot in the SoCon Tournament. The Mountaineers are two matches behind Western Carolina and Chattanooga in the standings at 2-8. ASU downed The Citadel 3-1 at home in its most recent outing after falling in four to College of Charleston to open the weekend. Chambers seeks to duplicate the success she enjoyed in the teams' first matchup as she exploded for 20 kills and a career-high tying 22 digs - the third of her team-best six double-doubles this season.
UNCG has earned two weekly awards from the SoCon this season. Freshman Lauren Betlach was named the league's freshman of the week for her performances at Western Carolina and Appalachian State while junior Olivia Humphries took home offensive player of the week accolades for her stellar play last weekend against Furman and Wofford.
INCHING TO 200...
With the victory against Wofford, head coach Patrick Nicholas is just five away from 200 for his career. Of those wins, 65 have occurred at UNCG - making Nicholas the second-winningest coach in program history.
MOVING UP THE LADDER...
A couple of Spartans have moved into the program career top 10 as Orewiler is third in digs per set (4.22) and fifth in digs (1,398) while sophomore Vicky Harley
is 10th in blocks per set (0.82). Additionally, senior Ari Lysacek
sits fifth in assists with a total of 3,153.
In 22 matches this season, UNCG has played 10 that have gone the full five sets. The Spartans are 4-6 in those contests. The Spartans are close to setting the program single-season record for five-setters as UNCG played 11 of them in the 1992 and 2009 campaigns.
NEED A BETTER START...
To say that UNCG has struggled at the beginning of matches this season is an understatement. In 22 contests, the Spartans have won the first set just six times and the second frame on only 10 occasions. Conversely, UNCG is 15-7 in third-set play and 12-3 in the fourth interval.
CALLING ALL LIBEROS...
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 723 total digs while averaging 4.18 and 3.88 per set respectively.
The Spartans head back on the road next weekend, making their longest trip of the season to Chattanooga and Samford. UNCG battles the Mocs Friday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. before traveling to Birmingham the next day for an 8 p.m. matchup against the Bulldogs.
- UNCG -