GREENSBORO, NC – Kaitlyn Nortz tallied a career-high 23 kills to lead UNC Greensboro to a 3-1 (38-36, 28-30, 30-28, 30-28) win over Elon in Southern Conference volleyball action on Tuesday night at Fleming Gymnasium.
Nortz tallied a .321 hitting percentage recording just six errors on 53 total attempts. Senior Theresa Hart posted 18 kills and 15 digs for the Spartans, while freshman Branagan Fuller tallied 11 kills.
Freshman Catherine Hanners led the Spartan defense with 23 digs and Kayleigh Knerr added 15 digs. Freshman Lisa Fawell added to her SoCon-leading 60 assists for the Spartans.
Britany Westphal led the Elon (9-12, 6-4 SoCon) offense with 21 kills and hit .311 with seven errors on 45 attempts. Jessica Barrow posted 18 kills while Emily Lucci tallied 12 kills, 12 digs and nine total blocks. Emily Downing’s 15 digs led the Elon defense, while Brooke Pickard posted 13 and Juliena Gigon added 10 digs along with seven total blocks. Natalie Moore posted 50 assists for the Phoenix. Elon notched 17 total blocks compared to UNCG’s seven.
UNCG (16-8, 6-5 SoCon) took an early lead in game one, leading by as much as five at 8-3. Down 14-10, Elon used a 4-0 run to knot the game 14-14 on a Spartan hitting error. After a 15-15 tie, Elon took the lead behind back-to-back kills from Barrow. The Phoenix extended the lead to six at 24-16 before the Spartans scored the next five points to get within one at 24-23.
With Elon serving for game point, a kill from UNCG’s Lauren Keiser knotted the game 29-29. After ties at the next six points, the last coming at 36-36, the Spartans tallied the final two points on a Hart kill and an Elon ball handling error to take the game 38-36. The Phoenix hit .314 in the game and tallied five total blocks while the Spartans posted a .246 hitting percentage.
After an 11-11 tie in the second game, Elon took a 12-11 lead on a kill from Westphal. The Phoenix would extend the lead to as much as four, leading 24-20, before the Spartans used a 4-1 run to get within one at 25-24. Elon pushed the lead back to three at 28-25 before UNCG scored three of the next four points to again close within one at 29-28. But the Phoenix finished the game 30-28 on a Spartan service error to knot the match 1-1.
Elon took an 11-10 lead and extended the lead to 14-11, before the Spartans knotted the game 15-15 on a service ace by Nortz. UNCG later took the lead and led by three at 24-21 before Elon used a 3-0 run to tie the game 24-24. The Spartans took the lead out of the tie on a kill from Nortz and maintained the advantage to finish the game 30-28 on a kill from Emily Lindborg.
Elon jumped to an early 6-0 lead in game four and pushed the edge to seven at 12-5. Down 14-9, the Spartans used a 6-1 run to tie the game 15-15. UNCG took the lead after a 17-17 tie and extended its advantage to five at 28-23 before Elon scored the next four points to get within one at 28-27. The Phoenix stayed within one at 29-28, but the Spartans closed the game on a Hart kill to win 30-28 and take the match.
UNCG returns to action on Friday night in a 7 p.m. home match with Western Carolina. Elon is next in action on Saturday, Oct. 21 in a 6 pm match with Western Carolina.
UNC Greensboro def. Elon 38-36, 28-30, 30-28, 30-28
Elon (9-12, 6-4 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Britany Westphal 21-1-4; Jessica Barrow 18-1-2; Emily Lucci 12-0-9; Juliena Gigon 8-1-7; Emily Downing 7-0-6; Natalie Moore 1-1-2; Mandy Wilson 0-0-3; Stefanie Meyers 0-1-0; Totals 67-5-17.0. (Assists) - Natalie Moore 50. (Dig leaders) - Emily Downing 15; Brooke Pickard 13; Emily Lucci 12; Juliena Gigon 10
UNC Greensboro (16-8, 6-5 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Kaitlyn Nortz 23-2-3; Theresa Hart 18-0-2; Branagan Fuller 11-0-2; Liz Benzschawel 9-0-1; Hilary Overby 7-0-1; Emily Lindborg 4-0-3; Lauren Keiser 1-1-0; Lisa Fawell 1-1-2; Catherine Hanners 1-2-0; Christin Heverly 0-3-0; Totals 75-9-7.0. (Assists) - Lisa Fawell 60. (Dig leaders) – Catherine Hanners 23; Theresa Hart 15; Kayleigh Knerr 15.
- UNCG -