DAVIDSON, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team saw its 2012 season come to an end Saturday afternoon as the fourth-seed from the North Division Spartans dropped a 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 15-25, 16-25) to the top seed from the south division Georgia Southern at Belk Arena on the campus of Davidson. UNCG finishes the season with a 13-16 overall record while Georgia Southern improves to 25-6.
"We worked all week on being very offensive today as we knew offense was Georgia Southern's strength," head coach Patrick Nicholas said. "We knew we could dig and block with them as we were one of the best defensive teams in the conference, but we had to bring our offensive game to them today. We worked our game plan perfectly in game one as our offense was very aggressive and opportunistic but games two, three and four we got passive offensively."
Junior Karrian Chambers
(College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) paced three Spartans in double figures in kills with 14 while adding 13 digs. Junior Olivia Humphries
(Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) added 12 kills while hitting .171 and junior Morgan Freeman
(Virginia Beach, Va./Cape Henry Collegiate) chipped in 10 kills and a team-high four blocks.
Defensively, the Spartans were led by junior Kellie Orewiler
(Mansfield, Ohio/Madison Comprehensive) who tallied a match-high 20 digs. Freshman Katherine Santiago
(San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) added 12 digs. Senior setter Ari Lysacek
(Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) posted a double-double in her final match of her career, dishing out 38 assists while posting 11 digs.
The Eagles hit .283 for the match (57-14-152) while the Spartans were limited to .160 (48-22-163). Georgia Southern had three players reach double figures in kills and five notch double figures in digs in the victory. Moriah Bellissimo posted a match-high 16 kills while adding 11 digs and Nicole Jeschelnik recorded 13 kills hitting at a .367 clip.
The Spartans came out of the gate quickly as sophomore Vicky Harley
(Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) gave them the lead from the start with an emphatic kill on the first point of the match. The teams went back-and-forth during the early part of the set before the Spartans took control with an 8-2 run, taking a 21-14 lead.
UNCG forced Georgia Southern into two timeouts during the spurt as Freeman was the catalyst, notching back-to-back blocks giving the Spartans the momentum. The Eagles tried to make a late push but the Spartans were there to thwart the effort as Humphries notched a kill before Freeman put the set away with her team-leading fifth kill of the opening set.
The Spartans came out in set two impressively opening up a 7-1 lead to force Georgia Southern into an early timeout. Harley was the spark in the second set as she notched three kills in the first eight points total, including back-to-back points forcing the timeout. Georgia Southern settled down and posted a 9-3 run to take a 13-12 lead and force UNCG into a timeout.
The teams went back-and-forth from that point forward with both holding leads of three points each before Freeman tied the game at 21-21 with a service ace. The Eagles closed out the second set with four straight points to even the match at 1-1 as they got three kills and a service ace of their own during the rotation. Chambers paced the Spartans in the second set with five kills.
Set three was another back-and-forth affair with teams trading points until UNCG trailed 13-12. The Eagles captured the third set by closing on a 12-3 run to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Georgia Southern hit .357 in the third set with 16 kills and just one error.
Georgia Southern scored the first three points of the fourth set before UNCG raced back to tie the set at 4-4, capped by a Freeman kill. The Eagles took the lead back with a 5-1 run forcing a UNCG timeout with a 9-5 lead. The Spartans slowed the momentum with two quick points before the Eagles put away any doubt with an 8-2 run to take a 17-9 lead. The Spartans battled until the final point but could not overcome the deficit before falling in four sets.
- UNCG -