GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG volleyball team’s final Southern Conference road match will also be its shortest as the Spartans head over to Elon Wednesday for a 7 p.m. contest at Alumni Gym. The match is the final scheduled regular season meeting between the local rivals as the Phoenix are joining the Colonial Athletic Association next year.
UNCG enters the final week of regular season play in a tie with Appalachian State for fourth place in the league standings. Western Carolina and Elon sit just one match back as the teams continue to jockey for seeding in the Southern Conference tournament. The Spartans helped their cause with a win at Wofford last Saturday, holding off the Terriers in four sets at Benjamin Johnson Arena.
The Blue and Gold downed the Phoenix in four sets earlier this season at Fleming Gymnasium with five Spartan players reaching double figures offensively. Senior middle hitter Olivia Humphries (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) recorded 13 kills while senior middle hitter Morgan Freeman (Virginia Beach, Va./University of Connecticut) and junior middle hitter Vicky Harley (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood) were next with 11 each. Senior outside hitter Karrian Chambers (College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated) and freshman outside hitter Sydney Darden (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) checked in with 10 apiece.
Chambers, the current SoCon Offensive Player of the Week, delivered her fourth double-double of the season as she added 11 digs to her 10 kills. Defensively, sophomore libero Katherine Santiago (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) racked up 28 digs for the third-straight match. She also contributed four assists. Also reaching double digits was senior libero Kellie Orewiler (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison Comprehensive) who ended up with 11.
Elon looks to get back on the winning track, dropping a pair of four-set decisions at Furman and Wofford last weekend. The Phoenix had won four of their last five before the two setbacks. Freshman Ally Karle recorded 34 kills and nine blocks to hit .406 and average 4.25 kills and 1.12 blocks per set. As a result, she was named the SoCon Freshman of the Week.
The Spartans and Phoenix split a pair of matches in 2012. After UNCG won a 3-2 decision over Elon at Alumni Gym to begin Southern Conference play, Elon countered with a four-set victory in Greensboro during the final weekend of the season. Chambers exceled in both matches as she averaged 4.00 kills and 4.00 digs per set while hitting .267. The Phoenix leads the series between the schools 14-11 and the teams have split the season series the last two seasons.
After its matchup with Elon, UNCG will wrap up the regular season Friday at 7 p.m. against Davidson inside Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans will honor their four seniors before the match.