GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG volleyball earned its second-straight sweep Friday night at home against The Citadel Bulldogs. After sweeping Western Carolina earlier in the week, the Spartans took all three sets from the Bulldogs (25-19, 25-23, 25-20) to improve to 11-9 overall and 4-4 in the Southern Conference. The Citadel falls to 7-17 overall and 1-6 in league play.
“Its really good to be back at home in Fleming Gymnasium in front of our home fans.” Head coach Corey Carlin said, “We had a great atmosphere tonight. Credit The Citadel for coming in to the match with an aggressive mindset. They had leads throughout the match and made us continue to work to earn points. They’re a rising program. Craig (Mosqueda) is doing a really good job, growing the program to new levels.”
“I’m really proud of our team.” Carlin continued, “Coming in on a short week, playing twice in three days during the middle of the week, I’m proud of the way we managed that unorthodox schedule. We’ve had really good work in practice yesterday and our focus in our scouting preparation for both teams was really beneficial. We know there’s going to be a stiff challenge next week with ETSU and Chattanooga coming in. We’re going to have to prepare well, put in good work in the gym and remained focused in our scouting efforts for those teams and put out best foot forward.”
Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange) led the Spartan attack, earning a match-best 14 kills and hitting at a .467 average. The hitting percentage is her best in SoCon play this season, and second best in a SoCon match in her career. The senior hit for a .706 average in her first-ever SoCon match at Western Carolina, Sept. 26, 2014.
Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) led the Spartans with 26 assists while digging nine opponent attacks. Muench and Anna Romaniszyn (Port Orange, Fla./Spruce Creek) led the Spartan backcourt with 11 digs apiece.
In the first set, The Citadel tallied an 11-7 lead before UNCG went on a 4-0 run to tie the set up. After exchanging points and being tied at 13, UNCG went on an 11-3 run to extend its lead to 24-16. The Citadel battled to force four set points before Holly Behrends (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) notched her third kill of the set to give UNCG the win.
The second set was very balanced, with five ties and only one lead change. The Citadel led by as many as four before UNCG tied and took the lead at 12-11. UNCG ran its lead to as many as five twice before The Citadel could counter. The Spartans led 23-18 when the Bulldogs scored back-to-back points to trim the set to 23-20. UNCG forced set point after an Annchara Montgomery (Indianapolis, Ind./Illinois State) kill. Two Bulldog kills and a block assist trimmed the lead to 24-23 before a UNCG timeout calmed the rally and led to a Citadel service error.
The Citadel again came out fast in the first half of the third set. The Bulldogs led by as many as three at 18-15 before the Spartans tied the match at 18 following a block assist from Mikaela Weidmann (Roswell, Ga./Centennial) and Maria Esch (Williamsburg, Va./Jamestown). After the tie at 19 all, UNCG scored six of the next seven points to put the set away and take the match.
The Spartans are back in action next Friday as volleyball kicks off homecoming weekend with a match against the ETSU Buccaneers at 6 p.m.