UNCG hosts pair of SoCon foes for Dig Pink Weekend
UNCG (17-6, 5-3 SoCon) vs. College of Charleston (18-5, 7-1 SoCon), vs. The Citadel (5-18, 0-8 SoCon), Oct. 22 & 23, 7 p.m. 7 4 p.m., Fleming Gymnasium
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- Playing at home for just the second time since Sept. 25, UNCG will play host to South Division leader College of Charleston and The Citadel for a pair of Southern Conference tilts this weekend in Fleming Gymnasium. The Spartans will face the Cougars from College of Charleston on Friday at 7 p.m. before playing The Citadel on Saturday at 7 p.m.
- This weekend, the Spartans will not only face a pair of SoCon opponents, but they will also participate in the battle against breast cancer during Dig Pink weekend. Dig Pink is the trademark name for Side-Out Foundation's fundraising events. Side-Out awards grants to medical research organizations and entities dedicated to providing compassionate support to breast cancer patients and their families.
- The highlight of the weekend will be an appearance by two-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor during The Citadel match. There will also be a silent auction prior to The Citadel match featuring autographed items from May-Treanor. All proceeds from the weekend will go towards the fight against breast cancer.
- Last weekend, the Spartans split a pair of SoCon matches. On Friday night, UNCG traveled to Georgia Southern where the Spartans suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Eagles. Ari Lysacek had the lone double-double for the Spartans in that match as she recorded 18 assists and 11 digs, while Ariel Newman posted 10 kills. UNCG bounced back on Sunday though as the Spartans traveled to Davidson and defeated the Wildcats, 3-1. Caley Redden had a match-high 14 kills and 14 digs to post a double-double and Lysacek did the same with 32 assists and 13 digs.
- The Spartans are now in a three-way tie for first place in the Southern Conference North Division standings with a 5-3 record in league play and a 17-6 overall record. Appalachian State and Elon also have matching 5-3 records in the league. College of Charleston leads the South Division by half a game over Georgia Southern with a 7-1 mark in conference play, while The Citadel is currently 0-8 in the SoCon.
- The Spartans are 9-15 all-time against College of Charleston and 17-2 against The Citadel in the series. Last season, the Spartans dropped its lone meeting with the Cougars on the road, 3-2. The following day, UNCG fell to The Citadel, 3-1, in the only time the two schools played.
- Senior Kayren Finney is off to a great start this season as
she currently leads the Southern Conference in blocks. She
currently has 96 blocks this season for a 1.43 blocks per set
Her 1.43 blocks/set average also ranks her 10th nationally this week. Ari Lysacek also shows up in the rankings, as she is tied for the league lead in service aces per set. Lysacek has 32 aces for a 0.40 aces/set average. Also, libero Kellie Orewiler is 10th in the SoCon in digs with 3.31 digs/set. Olivia Humphries is sixth in hitting percentage at .326 and Ariel Newman is eighth in kills with 2.81/set.
- 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 earlier this season, 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.
- 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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