Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Carlos Morales

Volleyball Ventures to Spartanburg and Greenville for SoCon Matches

UNCGSpartans.com 10-05-2017

GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG volleyball hits the road this weekend as it heads to the Spartanburg, Greenville, South Carolina area tomorrow afternoon. The Spartans will open the weekend in Spartanburg against the Wofford Terriers at 6 p.m. before heading to Greenville for a matchup with the Furman Paladins Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

Live stats and a video stream via the SoCon Digital Network will be available for both matches this weekend. Links for these services are on the UNCG volleyball schedule page.

The Spartans have dominated the overall series with the Terriers, holding a 29-9 advantage. Last season, the Spartans defeated Wofford twice. In Spartanburg, UNCG earned a 3-1 victory and took a 3-0 win in Greensboro.

Wofford enters this weekend at 12-6 and is tied with the Spartans at 2-2 in Southern Conference play. The Terriers have won three of their last four matches, including back-to-back matches at home against The Citadel and Presbyterian. In SoCon action, Wofford dropped the opener at home against Furman in four sets. After sweeping Mercer, the Terriers fell in four sets to Samford in Birmingham, Alabama, 3-1.

Catie Cronister enters with a 4.45 kills per set average, leading the league and currently 18th in the country. Cronister has tallied 0.61 aces per set, which is fifth best in the nation. Lorissa King is the primary setter, earning 9.14 assists per set. Taylor Gill leads the team with a 4.47 digs per set average and adds 22 aces on the offensive end. Cronister and Bijonae Jones back Gill at 2.39 and 2.25 digs per set, respectively.

The Paladins currently hold the all-time series record, 31-12 over the Spartans. Over the last two seasons, UNCG and Furman have split the matches played during the regular season, with each team going 2-0 on their home floors. The Paladins hold the neutral site advantage after ending UNCG’s SoCon Tournament run in the semifinals of the 2015 season.

Furman enters the weekend as the team to beat in the SoCon. The Paladins have earned a 4-0 conference record, defeating the preseason favorite ETSU, 3-0 in Alley Gymnasium in the second conference match of the season. Furman defeated Wofford, Chattanooga and The Citadel to be the early frontrunner for the SoCon regular season title.

Greenville native, Jamila Johnson leads the Paladins with 270 kills, averaging 4.22 per set. She’s proven to be a formidable defender, tallying 3.02 digs per set and 12 blocks. Hunter Thompson leads the Paladins with 573 assists, averaging 9.39 per set. Meg DeMaar primarily handles the Furman defense. She earns 4.39 digs per set, good for fourth in the league and best on the team.

UNCG enters the weekend at 9-7 and 2-2 in the Southern Conference. The Spartans have entered weekend’s fresh, going 6-0 on Friday nights. Saturday’s have been a bit more of a challenge, with UNCG earning a 3-6 record.

Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange) powers the Spartan offense. The senior outside hitter hits at a .259 average and records 3.84 kills per set. Holly Behrends (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) adds 2.78 kils per set, recording 136 in her rookie season. Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) facilitates the offense as she has recorded 10.55 assists per set, second most in the SoCon.

Current SoCon Defensive Player of the Week Christina Gregory (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) leads the Spartan defense. Gregory is second in the league with a 4.55 digs per set average. Penner and Muench pull their fair share on the backline, averaging 2.76 and 2.58 digs per set, respectively. Defensive specialists Grace Howell (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall-Heath) and Anna Romaniszyn (Port Orange, Fla./Spruce Creek) add 2.38 and 2.27 digs per set, respectively.

-UNCG-

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