Volleyball Falls to Mercer in Four Sets on Senior Night
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Spartan volleyball dropped a hard-fought four-set match with the Mercer Bears on Saturday evening (25-23, 26-24, 24-26, 26-24) inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans fall to 15-11 on the season, and 9-4 in the Southern Conference. Mercer improves to 14-12, and 6-8 in the SoCon. The loss snaps a seven-match Spartan winning streak.
UNCG had four players hit in double figures during the match. Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange) led the team with 16 kills, followed by Jasmine Jones’ (Stafford, Va./Brook Point) 12. Alexis Mourier (Elkview, W.Va./George Washington) and Lauren Robeck (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) each recorded 10 kills.
Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) earned 50 assists in the match, to go with 14 digs. It is her 11th double-double on the season.
Christina Gregory (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) led the Spartan defense with 21 digs in the match, while chipping in five assists. She earned three service aces. Muench earned a double-double as well, recording 18 digs. It marks her 10th such match this season.
UNCG led throughout much of the first set, conceding the lead at 23-22. The Spartans led by as many six points at 12-6, and five points on five occasions throughout the first set. The Bears took three of the last four points, aided by a block assist and a kill from Morgan Macgilvary.
The second set started the same as the first, with UNCG leading until the 20-point mark. Mercer used a 6-1 run to take its first lead of the set, forcing UNCG to call a timeout at 21-19. The Spartans fought back, earning ties at 22 and 24 before Mercer scored the final two points to take the set.
The third set was another close set, as it featured 10 ties, and three lead changes. After being tied at 16, the Spartans used a 4-1 run to take a 20-17 lead. A kill from Muench, along with Muench and Jones teaming up for a block on Mercer’s Emily Krogman gave the Spartans the lead. The Bears were again able to make a late run, tying the match at 24 before a Mercer attack error, and a Ronni Katarzynski (Winfield, Ill./West Chicago) kill gave the Spartans the set.
After being knotted at 11-11 in the fourth set, the Bears used a 5-0 run to take the lead at 16-11. The Spartans were able to cut the lead down to two, before the Bears used another 5-0 run to take a its largest lead of the evening at 21-14. The Spartans did not go quietly, as they used a 5-0 run of their own to cut the lead down to 22-21, in favor of the Bears. The teams exchanged points until Mercer was able to score back-to-back points to earn the set at 26-24.
The Spartans are back in action Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 6:00 p.m. as they host the Western Carolina Catamounts in the final home match of the 2016 season.