SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The UNCG volleyball team won a tightly contested match at Wofford Saturday, downing the Terriers 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-23) to spoil Senior Day and complete the season series sweep inside Benjamin Johnson Arena. The victory marks the Spartans’ 11th straight over Wofford.
It was a key victory for the Blue and Gold as the Spartans kept pace with Appalachian State for fourth place in the league standings.
UNCG (15-12, 8-6 SoCon), which eclipsed its league win total from a season ago, was led by a double-double from senior outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) who tallied 17 kills, 26 digs and hit .292 in the match. Her 26 digs fell just one shy of her career high set earlier this year at Georgia Southern. Freshman setter Sara Hohman (Zionsville, Ind./Cathedral) also produced a double-double with 51 assists and 17 digs and she would add two blocks at the net. A pair of Spartan middles went off for high hitting marks as senior Morgan Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va./University of Connecticut) and junior Vicky Harley (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) racked up 11 and 16 kills respectively on the way to firing at .360 and .464.
Defensively, sophomore libero Katherine Santiago (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) led all players with 27 digs.
The Spartan defense was stellar as the Blue and Gold recorded 94 digs for an average of 23.5 per set. UNCG also held the upper hand in hitting percentage (.186-.184) and kills (62-50) while both teams notched seven total blocks and three aces.
It was the Blue and Gold which forced Wofford (12-17, 6-8 SoCon) to call for the first timeout of the match as with a 12-10 lead, the Spartans netted four-straight points and took a 16-11 edge after a Harley kill. UNCG looked to have things in control when an ace by Santiago made the score 19-12, but the Terriers began to answer. The Spartans signaled for timeout when a Taylor Baird ace put the score at 19-14 and it seemed to work as UNCG built a 22-16 advantage. Wofford was not done though, going on a 5-1 run to draw within 23-21 and prompt another Spartan timeout.
A kill by Chambers put the Spartans at set point with a 24-22 lead, but an attacking error by senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) kept the Terriers alive. Harley would slam the door shut on the next rally, getting a kill to go down to end the frame in favor of the Blue and Gold 25-23.
Wofford was the aggressor at the outset of the second frame, building an 8-3 lead when Baird tallied an ace. It was UNCG’s turn for a big run from that point as the Spartans captured nine of the next 13 points to knot the score at 12 points apiece. The Terriers seized control by responding with a 5-2 run of their own to take a three-point lead, but with a 21-18 advantage later in the stanza, UNCG chipped away and eventually tied the score at 21 after an attacking error by Baird. The Spartans would not relinquish the momentum completing the set-ending 8-1 run with a kill by freshman outside hitter Jessica Brezwyn (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) to steal the frame 25-22 and push their match lead to 2-0.
A kill by Humphries gave UNCG a 7-4 lead in the third set as the Spartans were looking to complete the sweep. Things looked good for the Spartans later when a kill by Harley put the score at 14-10, but Wofford would dig down and rally to notch a tie at 18 points apiece after a kill by Amanda Liguori. An attacking error by Liguori would forge a 22-22 deadlock, but the Terriers netted three of the last four points to win the stanza 25-22 and extend the match to a fourth set.
An attacking error by Baird afford the Blue and Gold an 8-4 lead in the fourth frame but Wofford made another big run – scoring 10 of the next 12 points to take a comfortable 14-10 advantage. UNCG would not back down as Hohman capped an 8-4 Spartan run with a kill which tied the score at 18. A block by UNCG gave the Spartans a 19-18 edge and the teams fought back and forth before the Terriers crept in front 23-22 after an attacking error by the Blue and Gold. UNCG would have the last word as a kill by Freeman sparked a match-ending 3-0 spurt and helped the Spartans win the fourth frame and the match.
The Spartans wrap up regular season play next week with a pair of matches. UNCG will travel to Elon at 7 p.m. Wednesday before hosting Davidson Friday night at 7 p.m.