COLUMBIA, S.C. – UNC Greensboro kicked off its competition at the Gamecock Invitational with a come-from-behind five-set win against Coastal Carolina and a four-set win against Eastern Kentucky on Friday afternoon at the Volleyball Competition Center.
The Spartans dropped the first two sets to the Chanticleers, 25-14 and 25-21, before storming back to take the final three sets, 25-22, 26-24 and 15-11. UNCG came out in the second game and won the first two games, 25-21 and 25-17, before dropping the third game, 25-22. The Spartans quickly rebounded to take the fourth game, 25-16, to seal the victory.
Senior Catherine Hanners has continued her transition to the outside hitter position as she paced the Spartan attack against Coastal Carolina with 20 kills. Junior Caley Redden recorded her first career double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs and Emily Lindborg and Billi Baker added 11 and 10 kills, respectively.
"What a match," head coach Patrick Nicholas said after the Coastal Carolina match. "Coastal came to play and we were flat and unaggressive in the first game and we started the second game flat. Then we began to play as a team and bringing energy as we competed hard. As we started passing better our offense began to click. Four of our hitters played really well in terminating the ball and minimizing their errors. Catherine was big for us. I was real pleased that Caley, Billi and Emily all contributed significantly for us offensively, especially Caley for recording her first career double-double. I was very proud of the team for sticking together and fighting so hard to get to that fifth game."
The Spartans dropped the first game to Coastal Carolina, 25-14, as they hit just .160 in the game. UNCG fell behind 7-3 and were never able to recover as they trailed the entire game. After falling behind, 18-6, in the second game, the Spartans began to fight back, but it was too little too late as the Chanticleers won the set, 25-21.
UNCG was eventually able to get back on track in the third game. With the two sides tied at 12 midway through the game, the Spartans won the next four points, highlighted by a Hanners kill, to take a 16-12 lead. Kayleigh Knerr was able to seal the game for UNCG with a pair of service aces.
Despite just hitting .086 in the fourth game, UNCG was able to win the game 26-24. The match was knotted at 24, but a kill by Hanners and a block by Alissa Beaudway set up a fifth and final game.
In the final game, UNCG hopped out to a commanding 6-1 lead and never looked back as Beaudway clinched the win for the Spartans with a kill to win the game, 15-11.
Hanners again led the Spartans in the second game as she delivered a career-high 22 kills against Eastern Kentucky. She also added 18 digs and five service aces in the match. Lindborg (14), Baker (10) and Redden (10) each had double-digit kills for the second-straight match. Arielle Lysacek churned out 51 assists and Knerr had a season-high tying 24 digs.
The Spartans hit an impressive .325 for the match against the Colonels as the two teams traded points through much of the first game. With UNCG clinging to a 17-16 lead, the Spartans won the next three points on back-to-back kills and a service ace by Knerr as they went on to win the game, 25-21.
UNCG trailed 6-4 early in the second game, but went on to win seven of the next eight points to take an 11-7 lead. The Spartans continued to ride their wave of emotion as they went on to win the game, 25-17. It appeared as if UNCG would make it a sweep in the match as it led, 21-18, but Eastern Kentucky went on a 7-1 run to win the game.
UNCG led throughout the entire fourth and final game as it hit a staggering .500 to take the game 25-16 to win the match.
The Spartans will wrap up their play at the Gamecock Invitational on Saturday at 12 p.m. against host South Carolina.
UNC Greensboro def. Coastal Carolina: 14-25, 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-11
Coastal Carolina (1-3) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Chelsy Kimes 14-0-0; Amanda Russell 8-4-2; Sierra Livesay 8-3-3; Jill Nyhof 7-0-7; Megan Bickford 7-2-3; Kelsie Mauck 3-2-1; Megan Pollard 0-1-0; Totals 47-12-10.0. (Assists) - Kelsie Mauck 35. (Dig leaders) - Chelsy Kimes 10; Amanda Russell 10; Megan Pollard 10; Sierra Livesay 10
UNC Greensboro (3-2) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Catherine Hanners 20-1-2; Caley Redden 11-1-4; Emily Lindborg 11-0-2; Billi Baker 10-1-1; Olivia Humphries 1-0-1; Alissa Beaudway 1-3-3; Arielle Lysacek 0-2-0; Kayleigh Knerr 0-4-0; Totals 54-12-8.0. (Assists) - Arielle Lysacek 47. (Dig leaders) - Kayleigh Knerr 19; Caley Redden 11
Site: Columbia, S.C. (VB Comp. Facility)
Date: Sep 4, 2009 Attend: 189 Time: 1:50
Referees: Keith Weller, Kevin Wendleboe
UNC Greensboro def. Eastern Kentucky: 25-21, 25-17, 22-25, 25-16
UNC Greensboro (4-2) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Catherine Hanners 22-5-0; Emily Lindborg 14-0-1; Billi Baker 10-3-1; Caley Redden 10-1-0; Alissa Beaudway 4-1-0; Arielle Lysacek 1-2-0; Kayleigh Knerr 0-3-0; Totals 61-15-1.0. (Assists) - Arielle Lysacek 51. (Dig leaders) - Kayleigh Knerr 24; Catherine Hanners 18; Caley Redden 9
Eastern Kentucky (0-5) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Lindsey Loescher 16-0-0; Lauren Snyder 13-1-3; Toni Michalski 7-1-1; Hannah Groudle 4-0-0; Kate Hendle 2-0-1; Autumn Harms 2-0-2; Chelsea Lee 1-0-0; Abby O'Connor 0-1-0; Totals 45-3-4.0. (Assists) - Kate Hendle 36. (Dig leaders) - Abby O'Connor 25; Kate Hendle 17
Site: Columbia, S.C. (VB Comp. Facility)
Date: Sep 4, 2009 Attend: Time: 1:38
Referees: Bill Zehler, Keith Weller
- UNCG -