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GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG volleyball hits the road for fourth time this season as it heads to Birmingham, Ala. and Macon, Ga. for a pair of Southern Conference matches against the Samford Bulldogs and the Mercer Bears. Friday’s match against the Bulldogs will get started at 8 p.m., with Saturday’s match getting underway at 3 p.m.

Each game will feature live stats and a video stream. Friday’s match will be streamed via the SoCon Digital Network, with Saturday’s matinee matchup live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Links for the live stats and the video streams are available on the UNCG volleyball schedule page.

Earlier this season, UNCG suffered a five-set loss to Samford at home. The Spartans are 6-13 all-time against the Bulldogs. The last meeting in Birmingham, UNCG left with a 3-1 victory over the host Bulldogs.

The Spartans hold a 6-3 record over Mercer after knocking off the Bears 3-1 in this season’s earlier outing. UNCG’s last victory in Macon came in the 2015 season when the Spartans earned a tough 3-2 sweep over the Bears, with Muench recording 24 kills in the match.

UNCG is fresh off winning a five-set matchup with the Chattanooga Mocs on homecoming weekend. The Spartans have won three of their last four matches, with the lone loss being a hard-fought five set affair with the ETSU Bucs.

The UNCG offense ranks first in the league with 12.24 assists per set. Junior Allison Penner (Aurora, Neb./Aurora) leads the team and the SoCon with a 10.39 assists per set average. Penner proves to be serviceable in the backcourt as she averages 2.63 digs per set and has recorded 11 double doubles on the season.

Ashley Muench (Hurdle Mills, N.C./Orange) paces the Spartan offense; recording 289 kills this season for a 3.66 per set average. Muench also does her fair share of work on the defensive side, adding 2.68 digs per set and 0.54 blocks per set.

Holly Behrends (Oswego, Ill./Oswego) recorded her first double-double of her career last Saturday, going for 13 kills and 11 digs in the victory over Chattanooga. Behrends averages 2.58 kills per set, with redshirt senior Annchara Montgomery (Indianapolis, Ind./Illinois State) adding 1.92 kills per set and 0.98 blocks per set to lead the team.

Christina Gregory (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart Academy) leads the Spartan defense with a 4.63 digs per set average. Defensive specialists Anna Romaniszyn (Port Orange, Fla./Spruce Creek) and Grace Howell (Rockwall, Texas/Rockwall-Heath) add 2.59 and 2.18 digs per set, respectively.

The Bulldogs enter having split its matches last weekend. After falling to the Wofford Terriers in three sets, Samford made the trip over the Charleston where it earned a 3-1 victory over The Citadel.

Krista Boesing leads the Bulldog offense with 379 kills, averaging 4.16 per set. The junior hits at a .174 percentage and adds 0.48 blocks per set. Kelsi Hobbs is another formidable attacker for the Bulldogs, earning 3.05 kills per set. Shayla Philip leads the team with a .313 hitting percentage, recording 1.99 kills per set and second on the team with 0.59 blocks per set.

Taylor Anderton leads the team with 8.73 assists per set as the Bulldog offense records 11.76 total. Anderton adds 2.25 digs per set and has recorded 14 aces this season.

Grace Tiesman leads the backcourt with a 3.92 digs per set average. Hobbs and Kendal Strand add 2.58 and 2.48 digs per set, respectively.

The Bears have gone on a bit of a cold streak recently, dropping their last six matches before earning a 3-0 sweep over Savannah State last night. Mercer looks to protect its home court as the Bears have gone 4-2 inside Hawkins Arena this season. Five of Mercer’s last six matches have been played on the road and the last SoCon victory for the Bears came against Western Carolina, September 30th.

Paige Alsten leads the team with a .343 hitting percentage and has tallied 296 kills. Her 3.52 kills per set average is best on the team. Morgan MacGilvary and Emily Krogman average 2.89 and 2.38 kills per set this season Krogman leads the team with 33 aces and adds 2.30 digs per set.

Claire Waliczek leads the team with 763 assists, going for 9.54 per set. The senior setter adds 2.51 digs per set this season and notched 35 kills.

The defense features five players who average over 2.30 digs per set, led by Emily Wissmach. MacGilvary adds 2.88 kills per set, with Danielle Faust chipping in 2.33 digs per set.