GREENSBORO, N.C. – After fighting to four close sets with the visiting Furman Paladins, UNCG volleyball drops Tuesday night's contest by a final count of 3-1. The Spartans opened up their final regular season home match with a 25-18 win in the first frame, before Furman claimed the final three by scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-22.
Jumping ahead 6-2 in the early goings, the Spartans led for the majority of the opening period, with seven kills from junior hitter Maria Esch leading UNCG to a 25-18 victory. Setter Gabriela McHugh delivered 16 assists in that opening set, while Hannah Knier hit 6-for-9 from the floor.
The Spartans would fall behind by as many as six points to start set number two, before climbing back to a 15-13 deficit midway through the frame. The visiting side would get out to a run of 8-1 to go ahead 23-14 however, closing things out at 25-21.
The third set would play out in similar fashion, with the Spartans digging themselves out of an early hole, to get back within three points at 16-13. The Paladins would end up closing the period with nine of the last 17 points to take the set by a score of 25-21, despite Knier adding another nine kills to her running total.
UNCG would lead through the first 29 points of Tuesday night's fourth and final set, with the Paladins sitting within three points of their hosts throughout. The visitors would ultimately take their first lead of the frame at 16-15, holding off the Spartans for a 25-22 match-deciding victory through the remainder of the contest.
Three Things To Know
-- Hannah Knier finished with a career-high 22 kills against the Paladins, while delivering a .432 hitting percentage
-- Maria Esch came within one kill of a double-double, digging up 11 balls and recording nine kills overall
-- Gabriela McHugh's 51 assists were a match-high, coming just six short of the career-high she recorded against UIW earlier in the year
The Spartans wrap up the regular season against Mercer on Friday, traveling to Macon for a 3 p.m. afternoon start.
The 2019 season is a special one for the program, as UNCG volleyball is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The program hosted a special celebration during the weekend of Friday, Oct. 18 and Saturday, Oct. 19. The weekend included a program history celebration luncheon and recognition of several distinguished alumni from the program’s past.2
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