GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team continued its historical dominance over Wofford Friday evening inside Fleming Gymnasium, downing the Terriers 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-10, 25-17) to kickoff Homecoming Weekend. The victory marked the Spartans’ 10th straight in series.
“I thought we played really well tonight and kept the pressure on Wofford throughout the match,” head coach Patrick Nicholas said. “The league has so much parity this season and home wins are extremely important. We have another big match tomorrow night and need to keep focused on our goals.”
Senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) became the 10th player in program history, and second this season, to record her 1,000th career kill as she needed just two coming into the match to reach the milestone. She ended the match with a team-best 12 kills on 22 swings with just four errors to hit .364 while also adding four blocks and falling just short of a double-double with nine digs. Senior middle hitter Morgan Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va./University of Connecticut) also flirted with a double-double, posting nine kills and seven blocks.
“I am so excited to surpass 1,000 career kills and do it in the same season as a teammate,” Humphries remarked. “I thought we played extremely well tonight and we just need to keep it going tomorrow against a really good Furman team.”
The Spartans did, however, have one player notch a double-double as freshman setter Sara Hohman (Zionsville, Ind./Cathedral) dished out 37 assists and racked up 10 digs – her fourth such performance of the season. Junior middle hitter Vicky Harley (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) also came up big for the home side in the match as she tallied five kills, six blocks and a .556 hitting mark.
Defensively, sophomore libero Katherine Santiago (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) led all players with 20 digs while senior libero Kellie Orewiler (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison Comprehensive) was next in line for UNCG with 11.
Coming into the match, Wofford was the top serving team in the league averaging 1.71 aces per set. The Blue and Gold turned the tables on the visitors in that statistic, however, notching four aces and limiting the Terriers to just two. UNCG also out-hit its guest .241-.069 and held the upper hand in digs at 59-47. Wofford suffered from an error-filled performance, committing 28 offensive miscues and 11 serving errors.
The Terriers got on the board first in the initial frame with a kill by Elizabeth Buterbaugh, but a kill by Freeman ignited a 6-0 run which put UNCG in front 6-1. The Terriers would eventually draw within 11-9 on a bad set by Hohman, but the Spartans scored seven of the next 10 points and established an 18-12 advantage. A pair of service aces by Freeman capped the run and prompted Wofford’s first timeout of the match. The Blue and Gold would cruise the rest of the way, out-scoring the Terriers 7-5 as a kill by Freeman ended the stanza at 25-17.
The second set began much more competitively as the teams forged a deadlock at seven points each. A Wofford service error sparked a 4-1 run by UNCG which forced the Terriers to call for timeout, but the Spartans needed one of their own after Wofford tied the set at 14 on a Freeman attacking error. The teams went back and forth until the score settled at 19, but the Terriers dug down and scored the next four points to eventually put UNCG away 25-21.
UNCG left no doubt in the third set as the Spartans blitzed Wofford to the tune of 12-1 to begin the proceedings. The Blue and Gold kept the pedal down, rolling to a 25-10 victory and a 2-1 lead in the match.
After splitting the first eight points of the fourth frame, UNCG netted six of the next seven rallies as a block by senior outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) and Harley made the score 10-5. The Terriers scored three straight to pull within 10-8, but a kill by Humphries helped the Spartans go on a 5-1 run to establish a 15-9 lead. Wofford would only come as close as four the remainder of the match as UNCG closed the Terriers out 25-17 to complete the victory.
The Spartans continue their four-game homestand tomorrow evening, welcoming co-league leader Furman to Fleming Gymnasium for a 6 p.m. matchup.