Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Tim Cowie

Georgia Downs Volleyball In Athens, 3-1 09-14-2013

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia broke open a 1-1 deadlock in the third and fourth sets Saturday night, taking a 3-1 (25-11, 16-25, 25-10, 25-13) victory over the UNCG volleyball team to close out the Benson’s Invitational at Stegeman Coliseum. The Spartans drop to 5-4 overall while the Bulldogs are now 8-1.

UNCG was just the second team all season to push Georgia past three sets in a victory.

The Blue and Gold was limited to a .127 hitting mark in the contest while the Bulldogs hit a clean .330. The teams ended up even in digs at 49 apiece and UNCG outblocked Georgia 9-7, but the Spartans could not overcome the disparity in hitting.

Senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) ended the match with 16 kills and hit .200 – making eight errors on 40 attempts. Picking up a double-double was junior setter Emily McMurtrey (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./Westminster Academy) who dished out 25 assists and tallied 10 digs. It was her second double-double of the season. Defensively, sophomore libero Katherine Santiago (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) led the squad with 15 digs.

Georgia seized control right from the outset, moving in front 10-2 in the first set. The Spartans scored two-straight points on a kill by Humphries and a Bulldog attack error, but UGA settled down and rolled to a 19-7 lead before closing the frame down 25-11.

The second stanza was much tighter as the squads played to a 5-5 deadlock to begin the set. UNCG put down three-straight kills to push ahead 8-5, but Georgia went on a 4-1 run to knot the score once more. The Spartans dug down from there as a Bulldog attacking error sparked a 4-0 run to put the Blue and Gold in front 13-9.

A kill by freshman outside hitter Sydney Darden (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) saw the Spartans establish a 15-11 lead and UNCG was able to sustain the momentum. A McMurtrey kill helped the Blue and Gold reach 20 points with a six-point advantage before the Spartans rolled to a 25-16 victory to even the match at one set apiece.

After the Bulldogs cruised to a 25-10 set three triumph, UNCG attempted to rally in the fourth stanza. With the score knotted at two, Georgia went on a huge run – scoring the next 10 points to establish a 12-2 cushion. The Spartans pulled to within 15-7 on a kill by senior outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated), but the Bulldogs did not budge, winning the fourth stanza 25-13.

UNCG returns home for four-straight contests, beginning Friday, Sept. 20 against George Mason to open the Spartan Spiketacular at Fleming Gymnasium. North Carolina Central and TCU make up the remainder of the tournament’s field.



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