Volleyball Starts off Homecoming Weekend with SoCon Matchups Against ETSU and Chattanooga
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG volleyball kicks off homecoming weekend Friday night as it hosts the ETSU Buccaneers at 6 p.m. before hosting the Chattanooga Mocs at 5 p.m. Saturday evening. The Spartans are coming off of a week which saw the team earn a pair of 3-0 sweeps. ETSU enters having won five-straight SoCon matches. Chattanooga has dropped back-to-back five-set matches.
There will be live stats available for both matches, with Friday’s match being streamed on the SoCon Digital Network. Links for these services will be on the UNCG volleyball schedule page. There will not be a video stream for Saturday’s match.
Against the Bucs, the Spartans have earned a 10-19 overall record, counting the four-set win in Johnson City, Tennessee earlier this season. It was the first win in Johnson City since the 2002 season. ETSU’s last victory in Fleming Gymnasium came in the 2015 season as the Bucs earned a 3-0 sweep of the host Spartans.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange) leads the Spartan offense with a 3.86 kills per set average and has hit at a career-beset .268 average on 699 attacks. She’s proven her worth on the defensive end, earning 2.81 digs per set, second best on the team. At the net, Muench is tied with redshirt senior Annchara Montgomery (Indianapolis, Ind./Illinois State) with nine solo blocks. Muench has blocked 39 total opponent attacks. Montgomery leads the team with 51 total blocks with nine solo blocks.
Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) leads the league with a 10.44 assists per set average. She adds 0.77 kills per set to go with 2.66 digs per set. Christina Gregory (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) leads the team with a 4.52 digs per set average. Anna Romaniszyn (Port Orange, Fla./Spruce Creek) and Grace Howell (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall-Heath) add 2.49 and 2.19 digs per set, respectively.
ETSU enters having won five-straight SoCon matches. Three Bucs average over 2.80 kills per set this season as the ETSU offense is one of the top attacking in the SoCon. Rylee Milhorn leads the team with a 3.44 kills per set average, hitting at a .228 average. Leah Clayton adds 2.92 kills per set with preseason All-SoCon honoree AJ Lux tallying 2.87 kills per set, hitting at a .261 average.
Five players have tallied over 100 digs this year, led by Marija Popovic. Popovic leads the ETSU defense with 236 total digs, averaging 4.07 per set. Behind Popovic, Alyssa Kvarta adds 2.31 digs per set, with Milhorn earning 2.28 per set.
The Buc offense uses a pair of setters to function. Kvarta leads the team with 461 assists, averaging 6.49 per set. Lexie Libs has played in 70 sets, earning a 4.33 per set average having totaled 303 on the year.
UNCG has earned a 14-29 record against the Mocs all-time. Earlier this season, the Spartans dropped their match with the Mocs, 3-0. Last season, the Mocs ended the Spartans season with a 3-2 win in the Southern Conference Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. In the last meeting in Greensboro, UNCG earned a 3-2 victory.
The Mocs enter this weekend’s action at 11-11 and 4-4 in the SoCon. In its last two times out, the Mocs dropped a pair of five-set losses to ETSU and Wofford. Before coming to Greensboro, UTC will take on Western Carolina in Cullowhee Friday.
Ally Ford leads the Mocs’ offense this season, having earned a 4.11 kills per set average. She has recorded 329 kills this season on 960 attacks. Dani Szczepanski has played in all 80 sets this season, and leads the team with a .257 hitting percentage. Miranda Elpers has tallied 197 kills this season, averaging 2.90 per set.
Lauren Greenspoon is second in the league with a 10.13 assists per set average, totaling 709 assists this season. Greenspoon has also notched 2.40 digs per set and adds 29 kills. The Moc defense is led by Megan Kaufman. Kaufman leads the league with a 5.66 digs per set average this season, good for 453 total. Elpers adds 2.93 digs per set, with Ford and Bailey Clemons adding 2.55 and 2.54 digs per set, respectively.