Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Tim Cowie

Volleyball Captures Road Win In SoCon Opener 09-27-2013

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The UNCG volleyball team began its Southern Conference schedule on a positive note Friday night, winning a 3-1 (25-17, 35-37, 25-10, 25-16) decision over The Citadel inside McAlister Fieldhouse. The Spartans have now captured their league opener four-straight seasons.

The Blue and Gold put on an offensive show in the match as four UNCG players recorded double-doubles – including three Spartan freshmen. Freshman outside hitter Jessica Brezwyn (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) racked up a career-high 18 kills and 16 digs for her first career double-double while also hitting .295 overall. Classmate and outside hitter Sydney Darden (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) also set personal bests in kills and digs with 14 and 20. Senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) also got in on the double-double action, as did freshman setter Sara Hohman (Zionsville, Ind./Cathedral) as Humphries tallied 12 kills and 11 digs and Hohman contributed a career-high 59 assists to go along with 13 digs.

Defensively, sophomore libero Katherine Santiago (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) was all over the floor, picking up 28 digs for an impressive average of seven per set.

The Spartans produced their third-highest hitting mark of the season with a .324 performance. They also tallied 74 kills, 71 assists, 98 digs and 8.5 blocks. UNCG held The Citadel to low hitting percentages in the third and fourth set, limiting the home team to just .027 and .024 marks while hitting .459 and .316 itself.

The teams traded points for much of the beginning of the first set until UNCG established a 9-7 lead thanks to a block. The Citadel rallied to tie the set at 11 after a kill by Ise D’Angelo, but the Spartans put together a devastating 9-3 run which was capped by another UNCG block and made the score 20-14. The Blue and Gold kept the pressure on, allowing the Bulldogs just three more points and taking the stanza by a 25-17 margin.

UNCG jumped out to an 8-5 advantage in set two but The Citadel scored three-straight points to knot the score. The squads stayed close to each other until the Spartans crept ahead 23-21 after capturing two consecutive rallies. A kill by Harley gave the Blue and Gold set point at 24-22, but UNCG could not close it out. The Spartans wasted a plethora of set points going forward and it the inability to close it down came back to haunt UNCG in the end as the Bulldogs used a kill by Lauren Hurt and an attacking error by freshman outside hitter Jessica Brezwyn (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) to steal the frame 37-35.

It was all Spartans in the third stanza as they raced to an 8-3 advantage and did not relent, recording 18 kills to win the frame 25-10. UNCG would score the first four points of the fourth frame and would extend the advantage to 10-2 when Darden put down a kill. The Citadel drew to within 13-8 on an attacking error by Darden, but a 7-2 run took the life out of the home side as the Spartans closed out the match with a 25-16 victory.

UNCG wraps up the weekend Saturday at 2 p.m., traveling south to Statesboro for a matchup with Georgia Southern inside Hanner Fieldhouse. 



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