GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro wasn't able to convert match point in the fourth set and Samford rallied to win in the fifth set as the Spartans fell to the Bulldogs, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon in Fleming Gymnasium.
The Spartans fell to 15-12 on the year and 7-5 in Southern Conference play. Samford maintained their lead in the North Division by improving to 15-12 this season and 9-4 in league action.
"I was proud of how we fought, but its real evident in games that we lose its because we shoot ourselves in the foot with our errors," said head coach Patrick Nicholas. "We had five service errors in the fourth set and it cost us. The good part is we still control our own destiny. Now we will find out our character and this is where a team becomes a team"
Caley Redden had a career-high 19 kills to lead the Spartans offensively and Emily Lindborg added a dozen kills herself. Redden also had 13 digs for her 11th double-double of the season and Catherine Hanners had a match-high 19 digs on the afternoon.
Redden set the tone for the Spartans in the first set as she delivered a big kill to start the match. The Spartans, who hit an amazing .538 in the set, took an early 7-4 on a kill by Luciana Shafer as they never trailed the entire set. UNCG extended its lead to 17-12 on a kill by Billi Baker as they cruised to winning the opening set, 25-16.
It was a tale of two sets before the break as the Bulldogs came out in the second set and controlled the early action. Elizabeth Neisler's kill gave Samford a commanding 10-4 lead to start the set. The Spartans found themselves trailed 17-10 later in the set after Allie Bettinger recorded a kill. UNCG tried to claw back, but it wasn't enough and the Spartans dropped the set, 25-20.
A thrilling third set saw the two teams trade points early as Samford held a narrow lead. The Spartans trailed 12-10 midway through the set before rattling off the next five points to take a 15-12 lead. UNCG never looked back as they won the set, 25-18, on a kill by Lindborg to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Samford once again responded as they used a 7-3 run midway through the set to take a 16-11 lead. The Bulldogs extended their lead to 20-15, but the Spartans refused to go down without a fight and won the next five points to tie the set at 20. The teams then traded points before a Samford attack error gave UNCG match point at 24-23. The Spartans weren't able to convert as Bettinger delivered back-to-back kills before taking the set, 26-24.
In the fifth and final set, the Spartans jumped out to a 7-4 lead on a kill by Baker. Samford rallied to tie the match and eight on a block by Hillary Fountain and Sheriden Stangohr. After being tied at nine, the Bulldogs ran off six of the final seven points as they won the set, 15-10.
The Spartans return to action on Wednesday as they make the short trip to face backyard rival Elon at 7 p.m. in Alumni Gym. With the win
Samford def. UNC Greensboro: 16-25, 25-20, 18-25, 26-24, 15-10
Samford (15-12, 9-4 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Allie Bettinger 14-2-0; Rachel Gadberry 12-0-1; Sheriden Stangohr 11-0-7; Shelby Brandon 8-0-2; Elizabeth Neisler 6-0-2; Hillary Fountain 5-1-5; Alexis Bauer 1-1-0; Sarah Gardner 1-2-0; Casey Garvey 0-2-0; Totals 58-8-9.0. (Assists) - Casey Garvey 24; Hillary Fountain 23. (Dig leaders) - Hillary Fountain 13; Alexis Bauer 13; Sarah Gardner 12; Allie Bettinger 11
UNC Greensboro (15-12, 7-5 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Caley Redden 19-0-2; Emily Lindborg 12-0-4; Luciana Shafer 8-0-2; Billi Baker 7-0-1; Kayren Finney 6-0-4; Olivia Humphries 2-0-0; Ari Lysacek 2-1-0; Kayleigh Knerr 0-1-0; Catherine Hanners 0-1-0; Totals 56-3-8.0. (Assists) - Ari Lysacek 44. (Dig leaders) - Catherine Hanners 19; Caley Redden 13; Kayleigh Knerr 9; Ari Lysacek 8
Site: Greensboro, N.C. (Fleming Gym)
Date: Nov 01, 2009 Attend: 163 Time: 2:03
Referees: Peggy Shaeffer, Brian Jones
- UNCG -