GREENSBORO, N.C. – Georgia Southern won three close sets Friday night inside Fleming Gymnasium, recording a 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) Southern Conference victory over the UNCG volleyball team and sweeping the season series. The Eagles improve to 16-3 overall and 4-1 in league play while the Spartans are left at 9-9 and 2-3.
Georgia Southern out-hit UNCG .198-.181 while also racking up more kills (45-41), assists (40-37), aces (5-1), and blocks (5.0-4.0). The teams ended up tied in digs at 61 apiece. Kym Coley paced GSU with 11 kills and Alexandra Beecher pulled up a match-high 17 digs.
Senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) led all players with 14 kills on 38 attempts. She made five errors to hit .237. The libero tandem of sophomore Katherine Santiago (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) and senior Kellie Orewiler (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison Comprehensive) posted 17 and 15 digs respectively.
With five kills in the match, senior outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) is just 15 shy of 1,000 for her career while Humphries now sits just 28 away.
The first set saw the squads forge a 3-3 deadlock before Georgia Southern put together a 5-1 run to go ahead 8-4. UNCG righted the ship and scored seven of the next 10 points, resulting in an 11-all tie. A kill by senior middle hitter Morgan Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va./University of Connecticut) and a block put the Spartans in front 13-11, but a 9-4 GSU run gave the visitors a lead they would not relinquish. An ace by Humphries made things interested as it pulled the Blue and Gold within 21-20, but the Eagles netted four of the last five to win the frame 25-21.
The second frame started out just as competitively, but with the score knotted at eight, the Eagles put together a 4-0 run to push in front. The advantage grew to 15-10 when Katie Bange put down a kill but UNCG began to answer. With the score 19-14, a kill by Humphries ignited a 6-1 run which saw the Spartans draw within 20-19. Georgia Southern looked to have the stanza in hand as it built a 24-21 lead, but two-straight kills inserted some drama into the frame. The Spartans could not quite complete the comeback, however, as a kill by Nicole Jeschelnik shut the door and gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead in the match.
UNCG was the aggressor in the third set as a kill by junior middle hitter Vicky Harley (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) made it 6-2 in favor of the Spartans. The Blue and Gold held a 16-13 cushion after a kill by redshirt sophomore Julia Westerbur (College Station, Texas/SMU), but two attacking errors by Humphries helped GSU rally for the tie – scoring three-straight points. An offensive miscue by Jeschelnik made the score 19-19, but as in the first two sets, the Eagles made a late run to take a 22-19 advantage. Also, as in the second set, UNCG scored two consecutive points to pull within 24-23, but Bange got a kill to end the match.
The Spartans close out the weekend with a home match Saturday against The Citadel. First serve is set for 7 p.m.