GREENSBORO, NC – The UNC Greensboro volleyball had three players with double-digit kills to lead the Spartans to a 3-2 victory over Furman in Southern Conference volleyball action at Fleming Gymnasium Saturday afternoon. The win gives UNCG its second consecutive win and is the sixth win in the last seven outings for the Spartans.
Branagan Fuller led UNCG (11-8, 4-1 SoCon) with a career-high 32 kills while teammate Katherine Hart added 21 kills in the win. The Spartans also had three players with double-digit digs paced by 39 digs from sophomore Catherine Hanners. Lisa Fawell dished out 71 assists while Emily Lindborg had three blocks.
Furman (10-4, 3-1 SoCon) also had two players with double digits kills. The Paladins were led by Chibuzo Aguocha who tallied 22 kills and 18 digs while Alison West added 20 kills and 16 digs in the loss.
In the decisive fifth game UNCG jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but similar to the rest of the match the Paladins fought back and scored the next three points to take a 3-2 lead but the Spartans rattled off the next three points to pull in front 6-3 and never looked back. Furman would get as close as 9-6 but UNCG kept their composure and closed out the match with an ace from Catherine Hanners to take the match 3-2.
The opening game saw Furman roar out to an early 10-5 lead behind kills from Courtney Stewardson and Chibuzo Agoucha but UNCG battled back and was able to take a 17-16 lead midway through the game. Furman kept the game close but three straight points with Kayleigh Knerr serving put UNCG up 26-21 en route to a 30-28 victory.
Game two was close throughout and featured 10 lead changes. With the game tied at 19-19 the Spartans took a 21-19 lead with a kill from Emily Lindborg and a Furman attack error. UNCG wouldn’t trail for the rest of the match, although Furman was able to cut the lead to 28-25 UNCG used two kills and a service ace to take the 30-36 win.
After the break, both teams traded points in the early goings with neither team holding a lead of more than two points. Down the stretch the Spartans had a 29-27 lead but Furman scored the next three points to take a 30-29 lead before taking the game 32-30.
The fourth game was much like the previous games with the teams trading points throughout. UNCG took a 21-24 lead but again Furman battled back to tie the score at 26-26 and then were able to take a 29-28 lead with a kill from Nicole Palazzo. The Spartans had a chance to take the match with the score at 31-30 but an error and a kill from West tied the match at two games each.
UNCG continues its five-game homestand with a midweek Southern Conference match-up with backyard rival, Elon. Action is set to start at 7 pm in Fleming Gymnasium.
UNCG def. Furman 30-28,30-26,30-32,31-33,15-9
Furman (10-4, 3-1 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Chibuzo Aguocha 22-0-6; Alison West 20-3-5; Kerry Wooten 9-0-6; Nicole Palazzo 8-1-2; Katherine Hall 6-0-1; Courtney Stewardson 3-0-2; Emily Harby 3-0-1;Pamela Gehrke 0-3-0; Totals 71-7-15.0. (Assists) - Courtney Stewardson 57. (Dig leaders) - Chibuzo Aguocha 18; Alison West 16; Stephanie Smith 13; Pamela Gehrke 13; Courtney Stewardson 8
UNCG (11-8, 4-1 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Branagan Fuller 32-1-2; Katherine Hart 21-0-1; Kaitlyn Nortz 13-0-1; Emily Lindborg 8-0-3; Billi Baker 5-0-2; Kayren Finney 4-0-1; Lisa Fawell 2-0-0; Lauren Keiser 2-2-1; Kayleigh Knerr 0-1-0; Catherine Hanners 0-2-0; Totals 87-6-6.5. (Assists) - Lisa Fawell 71. (Dig leaders) – Catherine Hanners 39; Lauren Keiser 17; Kayleigh Knerr 10; Branagan Fuller 9