Efficient Effort Lifts Volleyball Past NC Central
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Another quick start and the squad’s highest hitting percentage of the season was key Saturday afternoon as the UNCG volleyball team cruised to a 3-0 (25-6, 25-16, 25-14) victory over North Carolina Central to continue the Spartan Spiketacular inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans will face TCU for the championship this evening at 7 p.m. The Horned Frogs took care of George Mason 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-19) in the morning match.
All 14 players on UNCG’s roster experienced playing time as the squad hit .434 in the match. The Spartans tallied 44 kills, 43 assists, 36 digs, six aces and four blocks in the contest. Statistically, the Blue and Gold was nearly perfect offensively in the first set, pounding out 16 kills on 20 attempts with a just a single error to hit .750. UNCG also accounted for 54 of its 75 points while limiting the Eagles to just 20 earned points of their own.
“I was really pleased with how we started today’s match,” head coach Patrick Nicholas said. “It was nice to see our offense run at a really high tempo and the women put some great swings on the ball. We will need another fast start tonight against a great opponent.”
Freshman outside hitter Jessica Brezwyn (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) was the offensive leader for UNCG, picking up 10 kills on 17 attempts while making just a single error to end up at .529. She was the high point scorer for the Spartans, checking in with 10.0 points. The Blue and Gold also received a nice all-around performance from senior outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) who recorded six kills on nine attempts with no errors to hit .667. Chambers also tied for the match high with eight digs. Falling just short of a double-double was freshman setter Sara Hohman (Zionsville, Ind./Cathedral) as she checked in with 22 assists and eight digs.
“I am starting to feel a lot more confident on the court,” Brezwyn said after the match. “It took a few weeks for me to get acclimated to the pace of the college game. I want to keep continuing to improve and get better.”
The Spartans netted the first six points of the first set and would extend the lead to 9-1 on a kill by junior middle hitter Kelsey Sidney (Chesterfield, Mo./Marquette HS). After a timeout by NC Central, a 7-3 run by UNCG, which included three kills by Brezwyn, made the score 16-3 and drew another timeout from the visiting sideline. The Spartans rolled to the end of the stanza as a kill by freshman outside hitter Sydney Darden (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) put the final score at 25-6.
With the score knotted at four points apiece in the second frame, UNCG put together a 4-0 run which prompted the Eagles to call for timeout. Refusing to let up, the Spartans out-scored NCCU 11-6 to move in front 19-10 after a block by Humphries and senior middle hitter Morgan Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va./University of Connecticut). The teams would match points the rest of the set, allowing UNCG to win it by a score of 25-16.
A trio of kills and a pair of attacking errors afforded the Blue and Gold a quick 5-0 lead in the third stanza. The Spartans were able to stretch the advantage to 11-4 before NC Central called for timeout. The Eagles responded out of the break, pulling to within 13-8 after consecutive kills by Da’Sha Brown. UNCG took back the momentum from there, scoring three of the next four points to move in front 16-9. The Eagles motioned for timeout once more trailing 21-12 but it was too late as a kill by junior middle hitter Vicky Harley (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) ended the match at 25-14.