GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team nearly forced a fourth set Saturday night inside Fleming Gymnasium, but Appalachian State held on in the third stanza and ended up with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 31-29) Southern Conference victory.
The Spartans (14-11, 7-5 SoCon) end their four-match homestand with a 3-1 record while the Mountaineers (16-10, 7-5 SoCon) extend their winning streak to four matches.
Appalachian State hit .287 in the match and racked up 48 kills while limiting UNCG to a .132 attacking percentage. The Spartans out-dug the Mountaineers 55-50 and each team notched a service ace.
Senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries tallied a team-best 11 kills in the setback and hit .280 to go along with four digs. Classmate and outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) posted her second-straight double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs. Additionally, junior middle hitter Vicky Harley (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) hit .350 while recording 10 kills on 20 swings with only three errors.
Defensively, senior libero Kellie Orewiler (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison Comprehensive) led the way with 17 digs while freshman outside hitter Jessica Brezwyn (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) also reached double figures at 10 digs.
The teams played to a 4-4 tie in the first set before a kill by Paige Brown capped a 3-0 outburst by the visitors. A kill by Harley made the score 8-6, but four-straight points by the Mountaineers gave them a 12-6 lead. The Spartans could only come as close as five points the rest of the way as ASU cruised to the 25-19 set victory.
A kill by senior middle hitter Morgan Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va./University of Connecticut) opened the scoring in the second stanza before the Mountaineers broke a 6-6 deadlock with three-straight points. An attacking error by Dalton Tolliver helped UNCG pull within one at 9-8, but two Spartan errors made the score 11-8 and forced the Blue and Gold to call for timeout. A kill by Humphries kept UNCG within shouting distance at 17-14, but the Spartans could not come any closer as Appalachian State took the second frame by another 25-19 margin.
UNCG notched three of the first four points of the third set, but the Mountaineers would come back and tie the score at six. The sides battled to a 12-12 tie, but ASU took a big lead by netting the next seven points. The Mountaineers looked to have the match in hand with a 24-19 advantage and five match points at their disposal, but a kill by Chambers ignited a 5-0 UNCG run that forged an improbable 24-24 score. The Spartans fought off another match point before an attacking error by Lindsey Sauls gave the Blue and Gold its first set point at 26-25. The teams battled back and forth and Humphries would put UNCG on the verge of a set three victory with a kill to make it 29-28, but ASU recovered and scored the next three points to clinch the match.
The Spartans will take their last weekend road trip of the season next weekend, heading to Furman and Wofford for a pair of Southern Conference matches. The Blue and Gold will face Furman Friday, Nov. 8 before ending the trip Saturday against the Terriers. Both matches are scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.