Courtesy: Photo Courtesy of Tim Cowie

Volleyball Set to Take on The Citadel in Fleming Gymnasium

UNCGSpartans.com 10-12-2017

GREENSBORO, N.C. – After three-straight road matches, the Spartans return to Fleming Gymnasium Friday night as they host The Citadel Bulldogs at 6 p.m. UNCG snapped a three-match losing streak last night with a 3-0 sweep over the Western Carolina Catamounts in Cullowhee, North Carolina to improve to 10-9 overall and 3-4 in the Southern Conference. The Citadel played a nonconference matchup with South Carolina State Tuesday night, earning a 3-0 sweep of its own. The Bulldogs sport a 7-16 record and are 1-5 in the SoCon.

Tomorrow’s match will have live stats and a video stream. Drew Casey will be on the call with the video stream on the SoCon Digital Network. Links for these services are on the UNCG volleyball schedule page.

UNCG and The Citadel have competed 30 times, with the Spartans dominating the series, 28-2. Last season, UNCG took both matches, 3-1. The Spartans last lost to The Citadel in 2009 in Charleston, South Carolina and have never dropped a matchup with the Bulldogs at home.

Backed by a 5.00 kills per set average by senior outside hitter Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange), UNCG halted a three-match losing skid Wednesday night. Muench leads the Spartans with 257 kills this season, averaging 3.84 per set and hitting at a career-best .262 average. Freshman Holly Behrends (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) adds 2.57 kills per set, totaling 157 kills on the season.

Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) is second in the league with a 10.50 assists per set average, having recorded 735 on the season. She’s just 13 assists away from earning her 3,000th career assist and will be just the sixth player in school history to reach that plateau.

Anna Romaniszyn (Port Orange, Fla./Spruce Creek) has been pressed into the libero role in the Spartan backcourt. The senior defensive specialist has taken the role in stride, upping her digs per set average by a dig and a half when she starts the match as the libero. Grace Howell (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall-Heath) adds 2.23 digs per set.

The Citadel needs just one more win this season to match its total from the 2016 season. The Bulldogs entered the SoCon portion of the schedule having won three of five matches before sweeping Samford in Birmingham, Alabama to open the Southern Conference season. The Citadel has been less successful among other conference opponents, falling in its next five league matches, with only two going beyond three sets. The Bulldogs ended its losing streak Tuesday night as it knocked of South Carolina State in three sets in front of its home crowd.

Freshman Sharlissa De Jesus has provided a spark to the Bulldog offense, leading the team with a 3.55 kills per set average. Preseason All-SoCon selection Moriah Smith adds 2.86 kills per set this season. The senior led the Bulldogs in kills last season and was fourth in the league with a 3.84 kills per set average.

The Citadel utilizes a two-setter system, with Megan Fuhr and McKenzie Boland earning 4.89 and 4.28 assists per set, respectively. The defense has four contributors that average at least 2.00 digs per set, led by Caricia Rodriguez’s 3.85 average. De Jesus adds 3.11, Smith at 2.48 and Gracie Barnes rounds out the defense with 2.00. Fuhr just missed the 2.00 average as she digs out 1.99 opponent attacks per set.

-UNCG-

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