Elon Outlasts Volleyball, 3-1
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team fell in its home finale Thursday night, dropping a 3-1 decision to Elon at Fleming Gymnasium. With one more match to go before the 2012 Southern Conference Championship, the Spartans dipped to 13-14 overall and 7-8 in league play while the Phoenix moved into second place in the North Division at 15-15 and 8-7.
"It was a tough loss," head coach Patrick Nicholas said. "I was really disappointed with our lack of energy in the beginning of the match. We had two unbelievable practices this week but somehow it did not translate into tonight. I thought Karrian (Chambers) and Morgan (Freeman) played well but, as a whole, we did not compete."
UNCG hit below its season average in the match, firing at a .178 clip. The Spartans committed 30 hitting errors as compared to 23 for the visitors who hit .224 as a team. Other statistical categories favored the Blue and Gold as UNCG held the upper hand in digs (81-75) and total blocks (12.0-10.0), but the Phoenix posted five service aces and sided out at 64 percent while limiting the home team to no aces and a 58-percent sideout performance.
A trio of Spartans recorded double-doubles as senior Ari Lysacek contributed 48 assists and 13 digs. Junior Karrian Chambers led all players with 21 kills and added 14 digs for her team-leading 11th double-double while classmate Olivia Humphries produced 15 kills and 11 digs for her eighth double-double.
Defensively, junior Kellie Orewiler racked up 21 digs to go along with 13 from freshman Katherine Santiago. Orewiler moved into sole possession of fourth place on the UNCG career ledger as she owns 1,514 digs in a little less than three seasons.
Elon took charge from the beginning of the match, building a 9-3 advantage before the Spartans scored three-straight with kills from sophomore Vicky Harley and Humphries to slice the deficit to three. UNCG fell behind 18-13 and 23-17, but made one last charge. A pair of miscues by the Phoenix and a Chambers kill made the score 23-20, forcing a timeout from the Elon bench, but two-straight blocks allowed the visitors to win the first set 25-20.
The second interval was very tight in the beginning, with neither team earning a lead of more than two until a service ace by Ali Deatsch put Elon in front 21-18. The Spartans scored just twice more as an attacking error by freshman Julia Westerbur sealed the frame for the Phoenix, 25-20.
After the marathon third frame, the Phoenix raced out to a 13-7 advantage in the fourth set, prompting Nicholas to call timeout. Things looked bleak for the Spartans later as Elon stretched the advantage all the way to 18-10. A solo block by Westerbur capped an 8-2 run which put UNCG back into the thick of it, trailing just 20-18, but a service error and Smith kill allowed the Phoenix to recover. Two consecutive attacking errors gave the Spartans life as they were down just one point at 22-21, but Elon ended the match by scoring three of the last four points.
UNCG closes the regular season on the road Saturday, traveling south to meet College of Charleston. First serve at TD Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.
- UNCG -