GREENSBORO, N.C.- Taking the court for the first time during the 2018 season in the Spartan-Demon Deacon Classic, UNC Greensboro’s volleyball team opened up the year by mounting an impressive comeback against Air Force, winning 3-2 (16-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-12).
“What a gritty win tonight,” said Head Coach Corey Carlin. “Air Force is a very well coached team and played very steady when we did not, so they deserve a lot of credit. I’m very proud of how we fought back in the final three sets. We knew coming into this season that we would have to win playing great defense paired with a balanced offense and we saw that executed in sets three, four and five.
“We still have to learn not to error ourselves out of sets and how to close out leads, but this group will get there. Now we need to turn our focus onto Maryland.”
The Spartans dropped their first set to the Falcons 25-16. UNCG then battled throughout a competitive second set, exchanging the lead six times and fought throughout but ultimately fell 25-19.
In the third set, the Spartans jumped out to an early 3-1 lead and rallied from a 15-10 deficit to jump out to a 22-20 lead. Even though the Falcons would call a timeout after UNCG jumped out to the two-point lead, the break wasn’t enough to slow down the Spartans’ momentum, as they took the frame 25-21.
The fourth set once again went the Spartans’ way, as UNCG led throughout before taking it 25-23, staving off a late charge by the Falcons.
In the fifth and final set, the Spartans and Falcons battled back and forth, trading the lead two times and being tied on three other occasions. But an early 7-4 lead gave UNCG enough of a cushion before winning the set 15-12.
Senior Allison Penner, who entered this season second in program history in career assists with 3,497, tallied a game-high 42 assists on the evening. Sophomore Holly Behrends, meanwhile, led the Spartans in points (22) and kills (20).
UNCG will return to the floor tomorrow morning when they host Maryland in its second game of the Spartan-Demon Deacon Classic. That game will take place at 11 a.m. at Fleming Gymnasium and be streamed on ESPN+.
Then in the evening, the Spartans will close our their opening weekend with a tilt against Wake Forest at Reynolds Gymnasium in Winston-Salem, N.C. The game can be seen on ACC Network Extra.
-- UNCG –