Spartans continue to roll through SoCon Tournament, defeat Appalachian State 3-1
BOONE, NC – After a big win over second-seeded Furman on Friday, the UNC Greensboro volleyball team continued to make waves in the Southern Conference Tournament, defeating third-seeded Appalachian State, 3-1, on Saturday.
The Spartans (23-12) won by scores of 34-32, 30-27, 20-30 and 31-29 over the Mountaineers (23-10). The last time UNCG defeated Appalachian State was October 19, 1999 when the Spartans won, 3-2, at Fleming Gym in Greensboro. UNCG hadn't beaten the Mountaineers on their home floor since September 13, 1995.
Senior Theresa Hart led the Spartans with 19 kills and had 13 digs. Sophomore Kaitlyn Nortz and freshman Branagan Fuller added 13 kills each. Freshman Lisa Fawell dished out 53 assists, while classmate Catherine Hanners tallied a team-high 18 digs.
Brittany Zahn had a game-high 21 kills for the Mountaineers. Chrissy Finch finished with 17 kills and Lorelle Rau handed out 53 assists. Cassie Engelgau had a game-high 22 digs.
The opening game saw a tight matchup between the two teams. The Mountaineers were down at the 13-14 mark but rattled of the next five points to force a Spartan timeout. However, UNCG came out of the timeout and scored seven points to regain the lead. Both teams went back and forth but the Spartans came out on top, 34-32, to take the opener.
In game two, ASU jumped out to an early 8-2 lead after a kill from Zahn. UNCG brought the score closer after a service ace by Hart made it 14-12 in favor of the Mountaineers. ASU was on top at 26-23 but the Spartans scored the next seven points with kills from Fuller and Nortz to go up 29-26. UNCG took the second game, 30-27, after another kill by Fuller
After going back and forth in game three, the Mountaineers finally took control late and went on a 10-3 run to win 30-20. Zahn recorded three kills in ASU’s final 10 points
The fourth game was another close one for both teams. Just as in game two, the Spartans were playing catch up early as the Mountaineers grabbed a 7-2 lead. UNCG went on a four point run to take its first lead of the game and made it 12-11 in favor of the Spartans. The lead went back and forth between UNCG and ASU throughout the game but, with the game tied up at 29 a piece, it was the Spartans that rattled of the final three points. Hart put the match away with a kill as the UNCG won 31-29.
UNCG had not won a match in the tournament since joining the league in 1997 before this year. The Spartans will advance to the championship match to meet top-seeded and defending tournament champion College of Charleston in the championship match on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The last time a seven-seed played in the championship match was Chattanooga in 2001.
UNC Greensboro def. Appalachian State 34-32,30-27,20-30,31-29
UNC Greensboro (23-12) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Theresa Hart 19-1-0; Branagan Fuller 13-0-5; Kaitlyn Nortz 13-0-10; Lauren Keiser 7-1-3; Emily Lindborg 6-0-4; Lisa Fawell 3-2-2; Catherine Hanners 2-0-0; Kayleigh Knerr 0-3-0; Totals 63-7-14.0. (Assists) - Lisa Fawell 53. (Dig leaders) - Catherine Hanners 18; Theresa Hart 13; Lauren Keiser 9; Kayleigh Knerr 8
Appalachian State (23-10) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Brittany Zahn 21-5-3; Chrissy Finch 17-0-4; Dianna Thomas 10-1-8; Amy Lewis 7-0-10; Carla Durham 4-0-5; Lorelle Rau 1-2-6; Heather Kale 0-2-0; Totals 60-10-20.0. (Assists) - Lorelle Rau 53. (Dig leaders) - Cassie Engelgau 22; Rachel Gates 11; Chrissy Finch 8
- UNCG -