ATHENS, Ga. – The UNCG volleyball team never found its rhythm Friday, losing 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-12) to Louisiana to begin the Benson’s Group Invitational. The Spartans fall to 4-3 overall while the Ragin Cajuns improve to 7-2.
The Blue and Gold struggled all afternoon, hitting in the negative for the first time this season at -.069. UNCG made 27 errors while tallying only 20 kills. Louisiana also outdug the Spartans 46-42 while ending up hitting .227.
Senior outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) and freshman outside hitter Jessica Brezwyn (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) led UNCG with five kills each. Freshman setter Sara Hohman (Zionsville, Ind./Cathedral) finished with her second double-double of the season, dishing out 10 assists and recording 10 digs.
The teams traded 2-0 runs to begin the game before UNCG was able to edge out to a 13-10 lead and force Louisiana to call for timeout. The Ragin Cajuns stole the momentum away after the break, netting seven-straight point to seize control of the set at 17-14. The Spartans would score just three more points in the frame as a ball-handling error on Hohman ended it at 25-17.
An attack error by senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) gave Louisiana a 5-2 advantage early in the second stanza, but a kill by Chambers brought UNCG to within 6-5. With the score at 10-7 in favor of the Cajuns, ULL ripped off four straight points and assumed a 14-7 cushion on a service ace. The Blue and Gold would not recover, dropping the second set 25-13.
Louisiana took all the drama out of the third set early, racing out to a 9-2 lead. The Spartans drew to within 12-7 on an ace by junior middle hitter Kelsey Sidney (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS), but the Cajuns ripped off a 7-3 run to put the match away and eventually win the third set 25-12.
UNCG will play twice Saturday, facing North Florida at 10 a.m. before taking on host Georgia at 7 p.m.