GREENSBORO, NC – The UNC Greensboro volleyball team closed out the regular season with a 3-1 win over Western Carolina in Fleming Gym on Sunday afternoon. UNCG picked up its 11th Southern Conference victory and recorded its best SoCon season since joining the league in 1997.
UNCG (18-14, 11-7 SoCon) had four players with double-digit kills and was led by junior middle blocker Kaitlyn Nortz who tallied 18 kills on the afternoon. Catherine Hanners had a good defensive showing and recorded a match-high 24 digs in the win. Lisa Fawell also dished out a match-high 68 assists.
Western Carolina (9-24, 4-14 SoCon) was led by Jelena Jakovljevic who had 16 kills. Teammate Meredith Harmon also contributed with 13 kills. The Catamounts had two players with double-digit digs with Liz Rondone leading the way with 21.
The first game was tight from the outset and although UNCG led the entire match, the Spartans couldn’t seem to pull away until late With the match tied at 23-23, UNCG went on a 3-1 run to pull ahead 26-24 but Western Carolina scored the next point out of a timeout to cut the lead to 26-25. Timely kills from Branagan Fuller and Lauren Keiser down the stretch helped the Spartans seal the 30-27 win and the 1-0 match lead.
Western Carolina was able to tie the match in the second game. The teams again played a tight match and it was in the final minutes of the game when Western Carolina was able to steal the game. The score was tied at 27-27 and Western Carolina was able to score the next three points to take the game, 30-27.
UNCG came out of the intermission refreshed and ran out to an 18-5 lead and never looked back. The Spartans held Western Carolina to a -.161 hitting percentage in the third frame while tallying 18 kills on 33 attempts with only seven errors for a .333 hitting percentage for the game.
The Spartans again ran out to a big lead in the final frame, leading 16-10 before Western Carolina went on a 6-1 run to cut the UNCG lead to one. The game was close from that point but Western Carolina would get as close as 27-25 down the stretch but kills from Nortz and Kayren Finney gave UNCG the victory.
The Spartans will next be in action Nov. 16-18 when they head to the Southern Conference Tournament. UNCG, who will likely be the sixth seed, will wait to find out who they will face in opening round action.
UNCG def. Western Carolina 30-27,27-30,30-19,30-25
Western Carolina ((9-24, 4-14 SoCon)) (Kills-aces-blocks) – Jelena Jakovljevic 16-1-1; Meredith Harmon 13-0-6; Katie Hennessey 9-1-5;LaTonia Cunningham 5-0-7; Kara Lynzee Brooks 5-0-5; Jessica Whitley 2-0-4; Liz McLauchlin 1-0-0; Liz Rondone 0-2-0; Carly Cash 0-1-0; Totals 51-5-17.0. (Assists) - Katie Hennessey 39. (Dig leaders) - Liz Rondone 21; Carly Cash 12; Katie Hennessey 9
UNCG ((18-14, 11-7 SoCon)) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Kaitlyn Nortz 18-2-7;Lauren Keiser 14-1-5; Branagan Fuller 14-0-0; Kayren Finney 13-0-2; Katherine Hart 10-0-2; Emily Lindborg 5-0-1; Lisa Fawell 2-0-3;Catherine Hanners 0-1-0; Totals 76-4-11.0. (Assists) - Lisa Fawell 68.(Dig leaders) - Catherine Hanners 24; Branagan Fuller 14
- UNCG -