Spartans hit the road for pair of SoCon matches
UNCG (16-5, 4-2 SoCon) at Georgia Southern (13-7, 4-1 SoCon), at Davidson (12-10, 3-2 SoCon), Oct. 15 & 17, 6 p.m. & 4 p.m.
- Coming off a win over Wofford on Saturday, UNCG will once again hit the road for a pair of Southern Conference matches this weekend. The Spartans will begin their weekend with a match at Georgia Southern on Friday at 6 p.m. UNCG will then head back to North Carolina for a 4 p.m. match on Sunday at Davidson at 4 p.m.
- Last weekend, the Spartans split a pair of SoCon matches. On Friday night, UNCG traveled to Elon where the Spartans fell, 3-1. Ariel Newman led the Spartans as she recorded her sixth double-double of the season with a match-high 16 kills and 13 digs. Caley Redden also had a double-double for UNCG as she had 10 kills and 18 digs. The Spartans rebounded on Saturday as they returned home and defeated Wofford in five sets, 3-2. Kayren Finney had a season-high 14 kills and tied a career-high with 10 blocks to record just her second-career double-double. Newman registered a match-high 15 kills and added 13 digs for a double-double.
- This week, senior Kayren Finney was named as the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week. Last week, she averaged 11 kills and 7.5 blocks per match. She posted a career-high 10 blocks in the win over Wofford. It was the second time she claimed the award after also earning the honor after the first week of the season.
- The Spartans are now in second place in the Southern Conference North Division standings with a 4-2 record in league play and a 16-5 overall record. Georgia Southern is half a game back in the South Division as the Eagles had a 4-1 SoCon record, while Davidson is fourth in the South with a 3-2 record.
- The Spartans are 13-10 all-time against Georgia Southern and 12-17 against Davidson in the series. Last season, the Spartans defeated Georgia Southern, 3-1, at home in the lone match between the two teams. The Spartans and Wildcats also played each other just once, with UNCG sweeping Davidson, 3-0, at home.
- This season, the Spartans began the year with a 14-3 record, which is the best start by a UNCG team since 1995 when the team started the year 24-3. In those 14 wins, the Spartans have swept their opponents by a 3-0 score eight times. Five of the other six wins have come in four-set victories.
- At the Spartan Spiketacular two weeks ago, junior Ariel Newman was tabbed as the Tournament MVP. Sophomore Olivia Humphries and senior Caley Redden were also named to the All-Tournament team. Freshman Kellie Orewiler was selected as the Libero of the Tournament by the head coaches.
- The team title at the Spartan Spiketacular was the second tournament that UNCG has won this season after winning the Spartan Classic earlier this season. It marked the first time since 1995 that UNCG has won two tournaments in one season. That year, the Spartans won the UNCG Fall Tournament and the College of Charleston Invite.
- Senior Kayren Finney is off to a great start this season as she currently leads the Southern Conference in blocks. She currently has 89 blocks this season for a 1.48 blocks per set average. Her 1.48 blocks/set average also ranks her sixth nationally this week. Ari Lysacek also shows up in the rankings, as she is second in the league in service aces per set. Lysacek has 29 aces for a 0.40 aces/set average. Also, Caley Redden is tied for ninth in the SoCon in digs with 3.36 digs/set. Olivia Humphries is sixth in hitting percentage at .324 and Finney is eighth at .309.
- The Spartans began the 2010 season with an impressive 8-1 record over their first nine matches. That marked the best start in school history since UNCG began the 1994 season 9-1. Also, the 14-3 start by UNCG was the best since the 1995 team started the year 24-3.
- The Spartans kicked off their 2010 season by claiming the Spartan Classic title in Norfolk, Va. On Friday, UNCG swept Navy, 3-0, to begin the tournament before defeating Kent State, 3-1. UNCG came back on Saturday and beat host Norfolk State in five sets and then dismantled Providence, 3-1.
- In addition to winning the Spartan Classic, sophomore Olivia Humphries and junior Ariel Newman earned all-tournament honors. Humphries won the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award, as well.
- UNCG returns eight players, including four starters, from the 2009 squad that went 17-14 overall and 9-7 in the Southern Conference. The Spartans finished the season tied for third in the North Division and missed making the postseason by one game.
- Before the season, the Spartans were tabbed to finish in fourth place in the North Division by the head coaches in the SoCon. Samford was picked to win the North Division, while reigning SoCon Tournament Champion College of Charleston was chosen to claim the South Division.
- The Spartans welcome seven newcomers to the program this year. Sarah Eldridge comes in as a junior after transferring from a successful two years at Cowley County Community College, while Karrian Chambers, Samantha Deutchman, Lara Keyes, Kellie Orewiler, Karen Stedman and Savannah Tomlinson enter as freshman.
- The Spartans lost three seniors to graduation at the completion of the 2009 season, including former libero Catherine Hanners. Upon the completion of the season, she was named the SoCon Libero of the Year, as well as earning second-team All-SoCon honors.
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