Birmingham, Ala. – The UNCG volleyball team came back from a 2-0 deficit in the Southern Conference Tournament quarterfinal to defeat No. 7 seed Western Carolina in five sets. The second-seeded Spartans advance to face No. 3 seed Chattanooga. With the win, UNCG improves to 18-12 overall.
Ashley Muench led the Spartans with a dominant double double with 24 kills and 22 digs. Allison Penner tallied 57 assists and 13 digs while Jasmine Jones was two blocks shy of a double double in kills (12) and blocks (8).
The Spartans dropped the first set, 21-25, and the second 20-25. After intermission, UNCG appeared to be a different team. With the end of their season standing in their faces the Spartans rallied, winning set three 25-23. A dominating 25-15 fourth set would even the match at 2-2 forcing the first five set match of the SoCon Tournament.
Western Carolina took a 2-0 lead in the fifth but the Blue & Gold responded with an 8-2 run to take a 8-4 lead. The Catamounts wouldn’t go down without a fight bringing the score within two, 10-8, before a monster kill from Jones once again put UNCG up by three. UNCG held a 13-11 lead but a WCU point made it a one-point match. Two quick points by the Spartans handed UNCG it’s come-from-behind win in a 15-13 final set.
UNCG hit .244 as a team in the win with a .387 clip in the first set (14-for-31) while only committing two attack errors. Muench hit .340 with 24 kills on 50 attacks with seven errors. Jones connected for 12 kills and led the Spartans with eight blocks. SoCon Libero of the Year Christina Gregory tallied 22 digs tying Muench for the team lead.
Western Carolina hit .198 in the match and had a match low -.065 clip in the fourth set. Katie O’Conner led the Catamounts with 13 kills while Meagan Sanchez had a team-best 36 digs. WCU ends its season 11-19 overall.
UNCG’s semifinal match against Chattanooga is slated for 5:30 p.m. (ET). Fans can follow the action live on the SoCon Digital Network. Live stats will be available at UNCGSpartans.com.