SPARTANBURG, S.C. – UNCG volleyball dropped a 3-2 decision (25-23, 22-25, 23-25, 15-13) to the Wofford Terriers inside Richardson Indoor Stadium Friday night. It’s the first Friday night match UNCG has dropped in 2017 and the first in the last 11 Friday’s dating back to the 2016 season. Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) dished out 48 assists as six players added multiple kills in the contest. Penner added four kills to go with eight digs.
“Tonight’s match was tough.” Head coach Corey Carlin said, “We did some really good things and worked well to establish good leads, but ultimately couldn’t finish the deal when we needed to. Credit Wofford for fighting back when they were down. They won a few more point scoring opportunities than we did and that was the difference.”
“We’ll take some important lessons from tonight and continue to move forward.” Carlin continued, “We know that we’ve been in control of most of our outcomes so far this season, its been our side of the net. So we’ll put our focus on continuing to improve as we reset and get ready for Furman tomorrow.”
Holly Behrends (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) and Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange) led the Spartan offense with 15 and 14 kills, respectively. Annchara Montgomery (Indianapolis, Ind./Illinois State) and Mikaela Weidmann (Roswell, Ga./Centennial) added nine and eight kills apiece.
Muench led the defense with 13 digs, with Christina Gregory (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) adding 12. UNCG recorded five service aces in the match, with Penner and Muench connecting on two each, and Anna Romaniszyn (Port Orange, Fla./Spruce Creek) adding one.
The Terriers took the first set, despite UNCG leading for much of the match. UNCG took several early leads, but Wofford wouldn’t back down. The Spartans led by as many as three at 7-4 and 14-11, but Wofford continued to fight back until it took its first lead at 19-18. The teams traded points down the stretch, with the set being tied up at 23 all. The Terriers earned back-to-back kills to take the first set.
The Spartans took control of the second set early, utilizing a 7-1 run to take a commanding 19-10 lead. The Terriers continued to be pesky, forcing UNCG to use both timeouts as they cut the lead down to 22-20. Kills from Muench, Weidmann and Behrends down the stretch helped erase Spartan block and service errors to give the Spartans the 25-22 victory.
Wofford took the lead early in the third set and weathered several Spartan rallies without relinquishing the lead until late. Wofford extended its lead to 14-8 before the Spartans used a 4-0 run to cut it down to 14-12. Wofford scored three-straight points, forcing UNCG to use its second timeout, trailing 17-12. After trailing 22-18, UNCG went on a 5-0 rally and took its first lead of the set at 23-22. After Muench and Wofford’s Catie Cronister exchanged kills, Behrends gave the Spartans the third set on her ninth kill of the match.
With the fourth set tied at 12, UNCG went on a 7-1 run to take its largest lead of the set at 19-13. Wofford wouldn’t go away as it climbed all the way back in the set, tying it up at 21, 22 and 23 before taking the lead on a Cronister kill at 24-23. The Terriers took the fourth set after Riley Coonan blocked a Behrends attack.
In the final set, the teams were knotted at six each before the Terriers went on a 4-0 run to take the lead, 10-6. Kills from Wofford’s Bijonae Jones and Cronister extended the lead before a Penner kills slowed the Terriers momentum. That four-point cushion was all that Wofford needed as the teams traded points. UNCG came within two at 12-10 but Wofford scored three of the next four to take the set and the match.
UNCG is back in action tomorrow afternoon as it heads over to Greenville, South Carolina for a matchup with the Furman Paladins in Alley Gymnasium.